In memory of
Fontain 'Bud' Martin Johnson Jr. Santa Claus, Ind. Fontain "Bud" Martin Johnson Jr., NA/PE, died in Indianapolis on February 4, 2017. Mr. Johnson was the general manager of Corn Island Shipyard in Grandview, Ind. Bud Johnson was born in Helena, Ark., in 1943. He came from a long line of riverboat captains and marine entrepreneurs. His father, Fontain Martin Johnson Sr., was the captain of the Mississippi Queen and the Delta Queen. His great-grandmother, Captain Nettie Johnson, owned and operated several freight vessels on the inland waterways. Bud grew up between New Orlean, Lousiana and Memphis and Tennessee. He attended Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tenn., where he wrestled, played football and served as a platoon captain. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. During his last year in college, Bud worked for Defoe Shipyard in Bay City, Mich. While at Ann Arbor, Bud met his wife, Sheila, to whom he was married for 51 years. After college he worked as chief naval architect for Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, Okla. He went on to manage a series of shipyards and towing companies along the U.S. inland river system and the Gulf Coast. He knew the bends and depths along the river system by heart and with accuracy. From 1994 until his death, Bud lived in Santa Claus, Ind., and managed Corn Island Shipyard, where he designed and oversaw construction of barges, tugs, dump scows and other vessels for industrial clients across the United States. In his spare time, Bud enjoyed sailing, raising horses, playing chess and visiting with his grandchildren. He was also an enthusiastic sports fan who loved to root for the University of Michigan's football and basketball teams. Bud is survived by his wife, Sheila; his sisters, Linda, Barbara and Wanda; his daughter, Nicole Johnson Murphy (Richard); and three grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his beloved son, Fontain Martin Johnson III, also a naval architect/marine engineer, who died in 2006. A Celebration of Life Service will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, February 18, 2017, at Alexander Newburgh Chapel officiated by Celebrant Carrie Hatchett. Friends may visit 2 p.m. until service time on Saturday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: The Fontain M. Johnson Memorial Education Fund, Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, 298 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove, NY 11542. Condolences may be offered at www.AlexanderNewburghChapel.com .
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