Bernard Augustus Frazer, 84, of North Little Rock, passed away on Monday, July 1, 2019 after a brief illness.
Bernard was born on February 20, 1935 in Warren, Arkansas, the only child of Elbert Frazer and Bernice Green Frazer. He enjoyed a small-town Arkansas childhood, and his affection for his hometown and his family and many friends there never waned. He was particularly proud of Warren’s pink tomatoes and enjoyed personally delivering boxes to friends every summer.
He graduated from Hendrix College in 1957 with a degree in drama. He acted in numerous college productions and continued to perform in community theatre for many years afterwards. He was on the boards of both the Community Theatre of Little Rock and the Arkansas Arts Center Theatre Guild and served both the American Cancer Society and the North Little Rock Jaycees. He served in the United States Army, achieving the rank of Corporal Specialist E4.
His early career was in television – KTVE in El Dorado and later KATV in Little Rock. He was recruited to be the first manager of the newly-formed North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. It was Bernard who came up with the idea to lay “Dogtown”, a derisive nickname for North Little Rock, officially to rest in a mock burial complete with pallbearers, a eulogy delivered by then-Mayor William F. “Casey” Laman and a headstone marker - a marketing stunt that attracted national attention. From there he transitioned into advertising where he spent the remainder of his career - working for Faulkner & Associates, First American National Bank, and Gray-Frazer & Associates; co-founding Frazer-Irby-Snyder and finally Frazer Advertising from where he retired in 2008.
He met the love of his life, Harriet Smith Frazer, while he was lifeguarding at the Warren YMCA pool. She ignored him, he persisted. They married in Monroe, Louisiana on April 14, 1960 and had 47 wonderful years together before Harriet’s death in 2007.
Bernard’s passions included golf, University of Alabama Crimson Tide football, working out, the beach at Gulf Shores, convertible sportscars and a good meal (preferably steak). He took great pride in bragging on the accomplishments of his children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He found joy in simple pleasures and was effusive in his gratitude for the kindnesses people showed him along the way.
He was a lifelong Methodist, and faithfully anchored the back pew at Lakewood United Methodist Church for many years.
He is proceeded in death by his parents and his wife, Harriet Smith Frazer. He is survived by his son Bryan Frazer and daughter-in-law, Angela of North Little Rock; daughter Miah Frazer Michaelsen and son-in-law, Jonathan of Bloomington, Indiana; a cousin, John Frazer and wife Maribeth of Warren and other extended family. He was “Sonny” to grandchildren Brittney Selby and husband, Derek of Little Rock; Conor Martin and wife, Michelle of Nashville, TN; Brendan Michaelsen and wife, Catherina Gomes of Raleigh, NC and Wyeth Michaelsen of Bloomington, Indiana; and a great-grandson, Miles Selby of Little Rock.
The family is grateful for the compassionate care Bernard received from Dr. Thomas Conley, his assistant Tami Nally and the entire Coronary Care Unit and the 2A wing at Baptist Health – North Little Rock as well as the staff at Hospice Home Care of Little Rock.
Memorials can be made to Lakewood United Methodist Church, Hendrix College Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, or the American Cancer Association.
There will be a Celebration of Life reception for Bernard Frazer on Sunday, July 21 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at The Greens at North Hills, 7400 Highway 107, Sherwood, Arkansas. Friends and family are invited to come share remembrances and toast a life well lived.