2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Jackson (11th), Jordan, Frazier, Horhn, Hyde-Smith, Simmons

Senate Resolution 25

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, William H. Frazer, a business and civic leader of Clarksdale, Mississippi, was born on September 26, 1915, and passed away on March 17, 2007, and in between led a life that earned him the respect of an editorial appearing in the Clarksdale Press Register describing him as "a giant among men and will be sorely missed by all"; and

     WHEREAS, one of his last goals in his long and glorious life was to outlive his loving wife in order to take care of her to her final day and her permanent resting place.  His wife, Kathryn Lea (Katie), preceded him in death by just 25 days; and

     WHEREAS, his daughter, Kathie Frazer Gieselmann, of Memphis, Tennessee, said of him, "Dad was the epitome of a southern gentleman.  He has been the most incredible father and leader in this family and he was a man of the highest integrity.  I just feel so blessed to have had an incredible role model in my life and my children's lives.  I'm just so grateful"; and

     WHEREAS, Billy, as he was known to his friends, graduated from Clarksdale High School and later the Louisiana State University School of Banking where he was President of the Class of 1954 and started his banking career in 1936 for Coahoma County Bank and Trust Company as a clerk, teller, bookkeeper, served as a corporate board member of Sunburst Banking System, and 44 years later until his retirement in 1980 as President; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Frazer endured the depths of the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean Conflict and the onset of the Vietnam War, serving Clarksdale and other Coahoma County residents as past President of the Clarksdale-Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce, past Vice Chairman and Director of the Clarksdale-Coahoma County Industrial Foundation, past President of the Clarksdale Rotary Club, was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International, and was a past Director and Treasurer of Delta Council; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Frazer served as a Gunnery Instructor during World War II, served many years as a director and volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and was awarded the Silver Beaver, highest honor for a volunteer, served over 15 years as Trustee on the Clarksdale Public School Board, was a past President and Director of the Coahoma Literacy Council, was active with the American Red Cross, Cancer Drive, United Fund, Heart Fund and March of Dimes, and served meals to the needy with the Care Station in Clarksdale; and

     WHEREAS, he was a devoted member of St. George's Episcopal Church, where he served as past Senior and Junior Warden and vestry member and was a licensed lay reader and head of numerous stewardship drives; and

     WHEREAS, the Frazers had 9 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren and his life is best described by his son, Willis, with these words:  "Dad has been a strong supporter of St. George's Episcopal Church.  One of my father's greatest character traits has always been his unwavering optimism.  When my father began losing his eyesight in the early 1980s, he never let it stop him.  It was his nature to always see a cup as half full, not half empty"; and

     WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this respected community leader:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the life and dedicated civic and charitable service of William H. Frazer of Clarksdale, Mississippi, and express to his surviving family the sympathy of the Mississippi Senate on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Mr. Frazer and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.