The Journal Gazette
Friday, January 14, 2022 1:00 am

Fred Toenges dies; started working in shoe store at 14

Journal Gazette

Fred Toenges, former owner of Fred Toenges Footwear, has died, the company's website and Facebook pages said this week.

Toenges began working in the family shoe store after school and on weekends in 1942 even though he was only 14 years old. In 1946, he became full-time after graduating from high school. The business was founded in 1891 by Frederick William Toenges, who emigrated from Germany.

Fred Toenges continued his education at Indiana University's Fort Wayne campus while still working 60 hours a week at the store. His pedorthic education consisted of studies at Ball State University, Temple University, Northwestern Medical University, New York University and the United States Hospital at Carville, Louisiana.

Fred Toenges was the president of the Pedorthic Footwear Association and the president of the Board for Certification in Pedorthics. He served on the National Board of the Diabetic Association. While there, he co-authored a physicians manual for the care of the diabetic foot. Toenges also worked at Lutheran Hospital's Crippled Children's Orthopedic Clinic and St. Joseph Hospital's Diabetic Clinic, according to the company's website.

In 2004, Fred Toenges was chosen for the Summer Olympics as one of 11 certified pedorthists – out of 1,800 – to serve athletes from all nations in Athens.

“We appreciate all of the prayers, phone calls, emails, and messages we have received regarding Fred. It has brought much joy to his family to read your stories about him,” the company's Facebook page said. “If you would like to share a special story about Fred, we would love to hear it, read it, and share it with the whole family. All of you are so very appreciated.”

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