Retired MSP Lt. Frederick Leo Johnston, Jr. (aka as Fred, Freddie, Freddue, FredMan, Tootsie Rolls, Dad, and Grampy) transitioned to spirit on October 30, 2021. Born on Dec. 26, 1942, in Boston, Mass., Freddie was the son of Fred, Sr. and Ruth Johnston of West Newbury, Mass. His brothers Ronald and Bobby pre-deceased him, and his other siblings, Paul, Kevin, and Mary Kate remain. His wife Christine, daughter Heather, her husband Jorge, and children, Kyle, Hannah, and Nick rejoice that he was so special in their lives.
Freddie’s work career began when he was ten and a half after he drove a tractor into a big barn door at Orcland Farm in West Newbury. His pay for labor replaced that door! He spent his youth working for Ruth and Lyman Orcutt, first in the dairy barn and then training their Morgan horses. Baling hay, cleaning stalls, delivering foals, riding, and driving young stock, Freddie learned the value of hard work, consistency, and patience.
He met his wife Christine (Bartley) at Orcland Farm. They were married in July of 1966 and enjoyed fifty-five years of marriage.
Freddie’s work was varied and challenging. He worked at the farm, in a bakery, and even at a mink farm before he graduated from Essex Agricultural High School in 1962, where he excelled at football and basketball.
In 1967, Freddie entered the Massachusetts State Police Academy. His most challenging assignment was as sub-station commander at S.P. Northampton, one of the busiest stations in the troop. His evaluation said it well: ‘He had the largest number of men assigned to any station in the state. He assumed this command responsibility very well, and never let the tremendous workload get to him. He performed very well under pressure. Prior to this assignment he was a duty officer and patrol supervisor out of BHQ. He assumed the role of station commander as he felt the heavier workload would be a challenge.’ Freddie ended his MSP career as head of fingerprinting and photography.
After his retirement, Freddie worked in management at Depot Distributors in Fitchburg, MA, before returning to college where he earned an associate’s degree in computer technology. At his graduation, he received five academic awards! (His first attempt at college was at UMass, Amherst, where he confessed to having majored in playing pool!) He then worked for 3SI in Northfield, MA, where he became the project manager of computer installations at schools throughout New England. He worked closely with architects and engineers and finally retired in 2004, when his wife retired from Pioneer Valley Regional School.
The loves of Freddie’s life were his wife and his precious daughter Heather. He was never so proud as when he watched her show her American Saddlebred at Madison Square Garden and her Morgans at the big shows in New England. Because of his incredible work ethic, he made it possible for Heather to attend Bement, NMH, Stetson University and own/show wonderful horses. He was a devoted husband and father. When his grandchildren came along, he fell in love with each of them and never hesitated to share insights and encouragement with them.
Freddie will always be remembered for his humor; one-liners and pranks made all who knew him laugh and be taken by surprise by his antics and asides. He was not one to mince words. In other words, he spoke aloud that which others only thought!
At his request there will be no funeral or services at this time. His wish for all is joy, peace, love, and good health. In lieu of flowers, please perform an act of kindness toward someone to honor his memory.
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