Charles Frazier died on July 24 at the age of 86.

He was born on August 23, 1931, to the late Ross Frazier Sr. and Clara Frazier, the sixth of eight children. The family lived in Howellville, Pa. and later moved to Philadelphia where Charlie attended Philadelphia public schools and graduated from Overbrook High School.

After working various jobs, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served as a radio operator during the Korean Conflict. During his time in Greenland, he met and bonded with lifelong friends Richard Hansen, Raymond Crumbly, Don Jones and Maurice Hickman and often shared stories of how they supported one another during tough times. After leaving Greenland, the friends stayed in touch and gathered frequently.

While in the military, he married his high school sweetheart, Thelma Floyd, also from Philadelphia, and a graduate of Overbrook High School. The young couple spent time in Texas before returning to Philadelphia. Thelma and Charles, along with his older brother Bob and brother in law Howard Speed owned and operated a small record and appliance repair shop. Charles and Thelma had three children: Leslie Ann, Charles Michael and Alison Beth. In his later years, Charlie met and married Florence Anne Sumpter of Abington, Pa. and spent many years traveling, playing tennis, skiing and nurturing his stepchildren, Phillip and Lele.

A staunch believer in education, Charlie attended Cheyney State College in the early 1960s and earned a bachelor of science degree in education. While teaching full time at Sayer Junior High and later Beeber Junior High, he also worked part-time for the US Postal Service and found time to attend the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a master’s degree in education. As a community activist, he was a member of Black Men in Motion,

worked with the Kingsessing Roadrunners, built games for community events and helped engage many young men in sports. During the turbulent 60s and the Civil Rights struggle, he attended the march on Washington and supported the local chapter of the Black Panther Party.

Later, he was assigned as interim principal at John Bartram High School in 1976. This began and established his tenure as an administrator with the district. He later served as vice-principal at Overbrook, John Bartram and finally retired from the district as vice-principal of West Philadelphia High School.

Once again feeling the entrepreneurial spirit, Charlie decided to try his hand at building in one of his favorite places: Martha’s Vineyard. Along with Air Force friend, Richard Hansen, the two began planning. Charlie and his brothers and master carpenters Bob and Ross, began building houses on a three-acre lot, which became known to guests as Frazier’s Circle. For the next several years, the brothers made weekly trips to Martha’s Vineyard on the weekends and summer breaks, building Charlie’s vision and supporting their brother. In the coming years, Frazier’s Circle became a vacation destination for many families and still operates today.

Desiring a warmer climate, Charlie later headed south to Palm Coast, Fla. where he enjoyed playing golf, relaxing with a book, getting together with friends and visits from grandchildren. Never giving up his desire to educate young black men, he joined the African American Mentoring Program, serving the Flagger County School district and Rymfire Elementary School. Even as his health declined, Charlie pressed his way to those sessions with the help of many friends. He always stressed the importance of education and financial independence. While living in Palm Coast, he was a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church where he attended faithfully until his illness sidelined him.

He enjoyed traveling, especially to remote skiing destinations, and made sure all of his kids learned to ski. He had a thirst for knowledge and was always ready to engage in a lively discussion about any topic or to tell a joke that was followed by a jolly laugh. He loved spending time with family and cherished the monthly Sibling Luncheon, which was held the third Saturday in each month. There they would eat and share their experiences and their love of God. One of his favorite sayings was “If the good Lord spares me.” He maintained a deep spiritual awareness. One of his childrens’ many fond memories is walking into their parents’ room and seeing their dad on his knees praying.

Many will miss him but his legacy has been established and will remain for years to come.