Fred C. Abel Sr.
{ "" }
Share Fred's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Fred Abel

Frederick C. Abel, Sr., whose family has been in Indiana for nearly two hundred years and who always had a passion for preserving and restoring historic Indianapolis, died of cancer on Tuesday at St. Vincent Hospice. He was 76.

Born to Margaret Branson Abel and Theodore Joseph Abel on April 5, 1935, Fred was raised in the family home on Central Avenue, attended Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Cathedral High School and Culver Military Academy. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BS '57), and has a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. After graduating from RIT, Mr. Abel returned to Indianapolis to work as a photographer for the family business, W.H. Bass Photo, which was founded in 1897. Fred worked as a commercial photographer for over 20 years, receiving state award recognition and enjoying several years as the prestigious Official Photographer of the Indianapolis 500.

Always an entrepreneur, he saw the need for a local professional color lab in Indianapolis. In searching for a home for his new business, Mr. Abel fell in love with the abandoned Fire Station 11, restored the building and established The Firehouse Colorlab in 1971. Thus began his vision for the Near Eastside Community.

Fred married Margaret Lucile Shearman on February 22, 1958. Known to her friends as Peggy, the couple formed a team that rejuvenated the East 1000 block of Washington and Market Streets, receiving awards for their work through their Restoration and Development Co. In 2008, the kindred spirits at Angie's List purchased the Firehouse Complex and created the Angie's List Campus, which continues to develop this section of the Near Eastside. Part of the sale agreement was for Mr. Abel stay on as an employee of the Henry Amalgamated Co. managing and continuing to develop the properties; a job he dearly loved.

Fred Abel is also survived by his son Frederick C. Abel, Jr., his daughter Dawn Abel DeDomenico, his seven grandchildren, his brother Gerald P. Abel and his sister Sharon Abel Lee.

Visitation will be held tonight 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel , 740 E. 86th Street. Funeral Mass Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 1530 Union Street. Burial at Crown Hill Cemetery.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Indianapolis Star from Mar. 1 to Mar. 2, 2012.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
16 entries
February 24, 2021
Fred was very nice person , he will be messed
Roger Blair
March 4, 2012
Fred was kind man who treated me like i was somebody , may god reseeve him with open arms.
roger blair
March 3, 2012

So sorry to hear about Fred! Great Guy!! May the Holy Spirit comfort you and your family.

Thinking of You Carol Mercuri
March 3, 2012
Peg,I'm sorry I just noticed I mis-wrote
the last entry is from Gary and Diana Sieg---Greensburg Indiana--again thoughts love and prayers to you and your family
Diana Sieg
March 2, 2012
Peg,FredJr.,and Dawn--I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of Fred.What a wonderful boss to work for at the FIREHOUSE COLORLAB-brings back lots of good memories,doesn't it Peg? If I'd known sooner,I would have been there,I just found out tonight,know your in my thoughts and prayers--and I think of you both so often--love and prayers-
dary and Diana Sieg-Greensburg In.
March 2, 2012
Fred and I shared many a personal and professional experience with each other at Acapulco Joe's Mexican Restaurant for over the last 20 years. Fred was a Mentor to me and My Brother Tom, and he was always ready to share his life's experiences with us, over some of the best biscuits and gravy known to man. He and Peg always acted like High School Sweethearts and it was a privilege to have known him. He will be missed.
Joe Huck,
President, Williams Comfort Air.
March 2, 2012
Fred was a wonderful man. He was a great example of how a man should conduct himself morally and in dealing with the trials and tribulations of everyday life. He loved Peg and he loved the Church very much. I will miss him.
Dennis Long
March 2, 2012
Thought of you & Fred so often over the years. The wedding photos that Fred took for our daughter Lynne bring back so many beautiful memories. Bill loved working with Fred on the old firehouse, he spoke of this often. Peggy, know that I am thinking of you and yours. Diana Holt wife/widow of Bill Holt, Fred's brick mason
March 2, 2012
Our prayers continue for you Peggy, Fred, Dawn, Gerry and Sherry. I will always be grateful that the Lord blessed me to be a part of the Abel family starting in 1955. Love, Paul & Shelia Blackwell and family - Jenks, Oklahoma
March 2, 2012
I have worked at Angie's List for almost 6 years now and running in to Fred has always put a smile on my face! I will truly miss him and will keep his family in my prayers. What a wonderful man.
Kelly Scripp
March 2, 2012
I will miss Fred - He and His wife would go to the tuesday night prayer cenacle years ago.
Paul Neuendorf
March 2, 2012
I was lucky enough to get to know Fred when I worked at a lumber company downtown. Fred's spirit and energy level was contagious. When he would walk into the office he always greeted me by name and with a big smile. These are the people that have the biggest affect on my life and Fred was one of those people. He didn't know it but was one of my role models and one I wanted to be like as I aged. You were a good man Fred.
John Carter
March 1, 2012
Fred living life to the fullest
Kathy & Gerry Abel
March 1, 2012
Fred is our daughter Hayley's God Father. My husband & I love Fred & Peggy. Fred was a truely special, unique friend. The stories he loved to share and his insight on subjects were always so entertaining. I am sure God welcomed Fred with open arms. We are going to miss our friend. May God watch over Peggy. We love you. Brian, Carol & Hayley Taylor (New Palestine,IN)
March 1, 2012
He loved the Lord, his beautilful wife Peg, his family and friends. He lived life to the fullest. We will miss him.
Gerry & Kathy Abel
March 1, 2012
We know Fred and Peg as members of Sacred Heart Church. A warm, friendly man who was so devoted to his wife, He will be missed at Mass and the dinners he and Peg loved to attend. Ray and Arleen Krebs
Arleen Krebs
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences