In Memory

Michael Frazier

Michael Frazier


Oct. 8, 1943
Harrison County
Texas, USA
Feb. 5, 2008
Morris County
Texas, USA

MARSHALL - Michael 'Mike' Frazier was born October 8, 1943, at the Kahn Memorial Hospital in Marshall, to William Milton Frazier Sr. and Ruby Katheryn Richardson-Frazier.

The young Frazier family lived north of Hallsville on the Walkers Mill Road. Michael's young daddy, Milton Frazier, worked driving a truck for the actual Lumber Mill. Mike's earliest childhood was spent in the Walkers Mill and Noonday communities.

In his formative years, he attended the Van Zandt Elementary School on Marshall's north side. Mike was an exceptional student who also enjoyed playing baseball. He and younger brother, Bill, played on the Yankees baseball team together. Mike developed a love of music and the trumpet. He worked paper routes after school for the Marshall News-Messenger and at Pender's News Stand, earning money to purchase his own instruments.

At Marshall High School, Mike won the John Philip Sousa Award. The pinnacle of achievement in a high school band program, the Sousa Award recognized Mike's outstanding dedication and superior musicianship. This award has become a nationwide symbol of excellence in musical achievement.

Tragically, that same year, Mike was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and rendered incapable of completing this successful trend at Marshall High School. However, mental illness did not prevent Mike from overcoming many obstacles. In fact, after treatment at Rusk State Mental Hospital, Mike was invited to play first chair trumpet in the Longview Lobo Stage Band in 1963. This prestigious group recorded a live album in Brownwood, under the direction of their musical mentor, Dan Rontondo. That same year, Mike married Patricia "Patsy" Post of Longview.

Mike was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, William Alton Frazier, and grandmother, Beulah Belle Dickard-Frazier; maternal grandfather, John Allen Richardson, and grandmother, Ivie Lee Findley-Richardson; father, William Milton Frazier Sr. on March 29, 1998; his younger brother, William Milton 'Bill' Frazier Jr. on October 7, 2003; and his mother, Ruby Katheryn Richardson-Frazier on November 24, 2006.

He is survived by his one son, Stanley Keith Frazier; and one grandson, Matthew Christopher Frazier, both of Pasadena, Maryland; youngest brother, John Alton "Johnny" and wife, Joni Frazier of Marshall; uncle, the Rev. James Marion Frazier Livingston; uncle, John Woodrow Richardson of Waco; an aunt, Connie Richardson Melton of Longview; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Pallbearers will include Gerald K. "Gerrie" Bunt of Longview, John Stuart Richardson of Sweetwater, Steve Bradley Richardson of McGregor and Leslie, Brent and Bryan Thurston of Kilgore.

Mental illness ultimately forced Mike to live most of his adult life institutionalized. To better understand Mike and Schizophrenia, please see the Ron Howard film, " A Beautiful Mind." This brilliant movie realistically depicts the struggle individuals with Schizophrenia and their families suffer.

Mike was fortunate to have had very gracious care extended to him from his family of friends at the Windsor Place. Again, we express our sincere appreciation to our extended family and friends at Windsor Place for all the love, care and support you gave Mike. You are truly God given to those who cannot help themselves.

Published in the Longview News-Journal on 2/8/2008. 

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08/04/11 04:56 PM #1    

Alvin Spell

I lived across the street from Mike during our early years of grade school.  We did lots of playing in the neighborhood.  Mike became one of the best trumpet players that I have had the pleasure of knowing.

09/08/11 08:46 PM #2    

Glenn Manning

When flooded with memories of High School days, some of my most precious are of Mike Frazier. We spent a lot of time together sharing our mutual love of music. I can honestly say that, even after 4 years in a Command Air Force Band, I never knew a better trumpet player. One of the memories that stand out was of the MHS Band selection to represent Texas at the dedication of the Texas Vicksburg Civil War Monument. In addition to a few musical selections from the band, Mike was selected to play “Taps” at the end of the program. Standing off from the assembly, his clear notes rang through the park. Some responded with chills, some with tears, but nobody was unmoved. I can still hear that sound resonating. Knowing him was a joy. Counting him as a friend, a blessing.

09/21/11 01:47 PM #3    

Lyra Carolyn Fugler (McCarty)

Thanks Glenn for bringing to mind the beautiful , soulful way Mike played and the exquisite performance at Vicksburg. After the initial manifestation of Mike's illness surfaced, the annual band banquet was imminent. Mr. Hammet, our band director, asked me if I would be Mike's escort to the event. I did not know that it would not be my last close contact with those souls who are destined to suffer this agony. Years later, my professional path included experiences that would deepen my compassion and alter my perspective of the devastating price paid by the afflicted and their families caught in the snare of severe mental illness. I witnessed the remmants of their human potential scattered like autumn leaves upon the days of their lives and at times, I witnessed untold naked truths and wisdoms emerge through their ramblings, mummurings and even rantings. Over the years, I thought of Mike and wondered about his life. It is comforting to know he had others who cared and could walk with him on his journey.

10/06/11 07:14 PM #4    

Allen "Butch" Owen

Mike's parents bought our house on West Burleson when we moved accross the street so I got to hear him play his horn more than most people. What a talented young man. Mike, Pat Elliot, and I had fun one year dressing up like beatnicks and playing in a band at the Corrall Club. I watched Mike's life change drastically and I look back on those days and wonder if what Mike had was much like what we all call Alzheimers Desease today. Unfortunately for him, the only place that could handle such an illness then was the Rusk State Hospital where he spent most of his remaining life unfortunately.

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