2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Mayo, Espy

House Resolution 87


     WHEREAS, William H. "Billy" Frazer, born on September 26, 1915, passed away on Saturday, March 17, 2007, to enter into eternal rest with his heavenly father causing great sorrow and loss to his family and friends; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Frazer 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, Kathryn Lea (Katie), who preceded him in death by just 25 days, in order to take care of her until her final day and to prepare her permanent resting place; and

     Whereas, his daughter, Kathie Frazer Gieselmann of Memphis 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

     WHEREAS, he started his banking career in 1936 for Coahoma County Bank and Trust as a clerk, teller, bookkeeper and served as a corporate board member of Sunburst Banking System, culminating in 44 years of service at the time of his retirement in 1980 as president; and

     Whereas, Mr. Frazer endured the depths of the Great Depression, World War II, Korea and the onset of the Vietnam War, serving Clarksdale and other Coahoma County residents, was a 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 Boy Scouts and was awarded the Silver Beaver, the organization's 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 Sr. and Jr. Warden and vestry member and was a licensed lay reader and head of numerous stewardship drives; and,

     Whereas, the Frazers had nine 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.  That kind of strong will has probably kept him living on the last 15-20 years.  If only I had had a small portion of his optimism, I would have been a better son.  I told him that many times."; and,

     Whereas, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and commend the life of such remarkable individuals as Mr. Frazer, whose life inspired and encouraged many as a beacon of hope:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the life and legacy of William H. "Billy" Frazer and express deepest sympathy to his family and friends upon his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family members of Mr. Frazer and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.