George Thomas Frazier, of Hope, passed away October 20, 2013, in Little Rock, surrounded by his loving family, nine days before his 95th birthday.
Mr. Frazier was born October 29, 1918, in Anderson, Kentucky, and was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from Washington University High School in St. Louis, he joined the Army Air Corp and served tours of duty in Southeast Asia, Northern Africa and Italy. He was a tail gunner on a B-25 where he joked that is where he learned to pray. He was honorably discharged as a Master Sergeant in 1945. He immediately moved to Hope, Arkansas, because of the influence of his military buddy and Hope native, Saner Davis.
His first job in Hope was with Young Chevrolet Company, where he was the assistant parts manager. He worked there until radio station KXAR first went on the air in 1948. He had done radio work while living in St. Louis, so it was a natural fit for him to be the DJ for the “new” radio station. While working at KXAR, he would have occasion to go to Citizens National Bank, where he saw a cute high school girl, Effie Hyatt, who was a teller. Mr. Frazier knew that this was the girl he was going to marry and on December 30, 1948, he did just that.
In 1949, Mr. Frazier enrolled in The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in advertising and marketing. In 1954, with their young son George Thomas Frazier, Jr., they moved to Houston where Mr. Frazier took a job with an advertising firm. Longing to move back to Hope, the Frazier’s returned in 1955 where he started working for The Roy Anderson Insurance Agency which eventually became Anderson-Frazier Insurance. He began the George Frazier Insurance Agency in 1988.
Mr. Frazier was a true leader in the insurance industry, not just in Arkansas, but nationally as well. He was an active member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas, serving as it’s President in 1961. On the national level, Mr. Frazier served on the Executive Committee of the 20,000 member Independent Insurance Agents of America from 1973 to 1979, including being elected as the Association’s President in 1977. To this day, Mr. Frazier is the only Arkansan ever to have served as the president of this organization. At his installation in 1977, he introduced the country to a young State Attorney General named Bill Clinton, who he predicted would become the youngest governor to ever be elected in the United States, as well as predicting that he would be a future President of the United States. Ultimately, Mr. Frazier was accurate in his predictions.
Mr. Frazier’s mantra all of his life was one of service. Service to God, country, and community were all very important to him. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Hope, including serving as Chairman of the Administrative Board and serving as a Sunday School teacher on and off for over 50 years. He served as Mayor of Hope in 1959 and was instrumental in bringing the City Manager form of government to Hope. He was Past President of the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce, Past Chairman of the Girl Scouts of America-Conifer Council, Director of the Hope Water and Light Commission, member of Board of Directors of Citizens National Bank of Hope (now BancorpSouth), member of the Foundation Board of the UA Community College at Hope, Past President of the Hope Public School Board, Past President and 65 year member of Hope Kiwanis Club, Board of Directors of Medical Park Hospital (Wadley), member of the Hempstead County Quorum Court, Chair of the CARTI Foundation Board, Hempstead County Democratic Party Chair, Commissioner on the Arkansas State Election Committee, Board of Directors of the Clinton Birthplace Foundation, and instrumental in establishing the Virginia Clinton Kelly Nursing Scholarship at University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, on behalf of former President Bill Clinton, to honor his mother who was a nurse.
Page 2 of 2 - Among his many awards and honors were The Allan Kennedy Memorial Award in 1967, given by the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas for outstanding Insurance Agent of the year; Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the year in 1969; the Woodworth Memorial Award in 1980 by the Independent Insurance Agents of America, the Association’s highest individual honor for outstanding service; and 1994 Arkansas Industrial Development Volunteer of the Year.
Mr. Frazier excelled at mentoring young men in the community, especially those without fathers or supportive families. The stories of the many young people he helped are countless. He was a strong advocate for civil rights in Hempstead County in the 1950s and 1960s, including supporting school consolidation efforts in 1969.
His most favorite leisure time activity was to go to the family farm south of Hope, in Patmos, with his children where they fished, rode horses, and rode on the tractor.
He was preceded in death by 10 days by the love of his life, his wife, Effie Hyatt Frazier, who passed away on October 10. He was also preceded in death by his mother, Faye Sinclair and stepfather George Sinclair, and sister, Louise Frazier Jennings, all of Douglasville, Georgia; and sister-in-law, Patricia Bass Hyatt, of Ft. Smith.
Mr. Frazier is survived by his son, Dr. Tom Frazier and wife, Cynthia, daughter, Carol Frazier Maxwell and husband, Tim, and son, Robert “Bo” Frazier and wife, Kate, all of Little Rock. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Colin and Cameron Maxwell, Benjamin, Alexandra and William Frazier, McKenzie, Lily and Liza Moriconi, and Bailey, Sarah and Maddie Frazier, all of Little Rock. He had 11 nieces and nephews and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
Mr. Frazier’s children would like to thank the following for their loving care, support and service to their father in his final months: Dr. George Garrett of Hope, Arkansas; Wadley Regional Medical Center at Hope; Good Shepherd Assisted Living Facility- the Roberts Building in Little Rock; St. Vincent Infirmary MICU and 4 NW; Dr. Reg Rutherford and Dr. Lynn Davis, of Little Rock; Briarwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; and caregivers Janice Papari, Edna Settles, and Thelma Juarez.
In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials to First United Methodist Church of Hope, U of A Community College at Hope Virginia Clinton Kelly Nursing Scholarship Fund, or Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute in Little Rock.
Viewing will be Friday, October 25, at Brazzel/Oakcrest Funeral Home.
The family will receive friends Friday, October 25, from 4-6 p.m. at BancorpSouth, 200 South Elm, in Hope.
A private family burial will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery in Hope.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 26, at the First United Methodist Church in Hope, with Rev. Steve Johnson officiating. Arrangements are by Brazzel/Oakcrest The Funeral Home of Hope, Eddie Brazzel, Director.