In Memory of Fred, 1952 - 2015
Fred Okert III
Fred Okert, longtime Speedway employee, passed away suddenly March 11, 2015.
Fred started at Speedway in 1978, working as a pressman for many years. Over time, he became our plant Production Manager. As Production Manager, he oversaw the day-to-day operation of the printing plant floor: scheduling jobs for the presses, ordering paper and supplies, and generally keeping the ship running smoothly. Basically, every job that came through the plant was overseen by Fred. In addition, he was our chief mechanic, meaning he was a great one for tinkering with the presses and other other machinery to keep them running. He was extremely persistent in going after a problem until it was fixed. In that way, he provided an invaluable service to the company.
In his non-work life, Fred was a musician who played saxophone, guitar and other instruments. He played in a number of bands over the years and counted many musicians as friends. He had a home studio where he would create multi-layered jam tracks that were jazz-oriented and experimental. His taste in music was extremely wide, but uncompromising. He could not stand mediocre music. Often, he had some weird, challenging, music playing on his computer while he was sitting at his desk. It's awfully quiet here without him.
We all will miss Fred's mellow attitude and composure. He was a man with a great sense of humor, a great sympathy for the working man, and a great appreciation for the good things in life. He served Speedway very well for many, many years.