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John Rhett Frazier, Sr.

September 21, 1919 February 12, 2020
John Rhett Frazier, Sr.
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Obituary for John Rhett Frazier, Sr.

As a member of the “Greatest Generation”, John Rhett Frazier, Sr. was called home on February 12, 2020 to be with his Lord and Savior and his beloved wife of 69 years, Juanita Ruth Williams Frazier.

John was born in 1919 to his devoted mother, Francis Ann Copeland (1889-1981) and father, James Blair Frazier, Sr. of Blair, SC (1890-1964). John grew up on the family farm in Blair with his brothers, James Blair Frazier, Jr. (1917-2003) and Francis Marion Frazier (1925-2015).

Some of his memories of the farm included milking Millie the Cow and working hard to pick 100 lbs. of cotton in a day but never obtained that magical number. He loved the freedom that the farm afforded in walking and hunting in the woods which shaped his love for working in the timber business. He remembered swimming and fishing in the Broad River and hopping the trains that moved through the community of Blair. In 1936, he graduated from Monticello High School and left to attend Clemson Agricultural and Military College. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1940. He then enrolled in Duke University to obtain a Master of Forestry degree. His schooling was interrupted by WWII.

John entered the Army as a 2nd Lt. in1942. After serving 13 months in the Caribbean Defense Command, Panama, as a platoon leader in Company C, he was then transferred to the 271st Engineering Combat Battalion. He advanced to the rank of 1st Lt. and in January 1945 the 71st Infantry Division was assigned to the European Theater. In April 1945 the division was assigned to Patton’s Third Army. Upon the wounding of his commander, John took command and disengaged a bridge demolition device which allowed the 71st Division to advance further into Germany engaging and defeating the German Southern Army.

Returning home, John finished his Master’s degree of Forestry from Duke. He moved to Newberry, SC in 1946 and began a successful business in the timber and forest products industry. John was remembered in his business as a hardworking, six-day a week gentleman who always counted on giving his word to those with whom he worked and honoring his verbal commitments. His family was told, if you looked up the definition of “gentleman” in the dictionary, John Frazier’s name would be found there.

In 1948 the family became members of Aveleigh Presbyterian Church. Proud of his Scottish heritage, he remained active in membership for 72 years. Love and faith for his Trinity God was seen by his discipleship in serving as Deacon, Elder, Superintendent of Sunday School, and Treasurer. His devotion to his God was a shining example to his family always using his organized disciplined talents and support to his beloved church and church family. On Sundays, he could be found in the left front pew #5 constantly checking his watch to monitor the appropriate sermon time. When the minister, so he thought, was preaching too long he would point to his wristwatch.

Whenever called upon he demonstrated his Christ like love to his church and community. One of many was the delivering of Meals on Wheels with Juanita for 20 years. He was a member of the Newberry Lions Club for over 20 years and though he participated in many officer capacities, his favorite service was purchasing brooms and sharing them with friends and family.

Until age 94, he would still kneel at his bed to offer prayers of gratitude and praise before retiring for the evening. He was fervent in his faith. His life reflected to his family faith, love, hope, charity, all hallmarks of his character.

The patriarch of his family at 100, he will be deeply missed by his son, J. Rhett Frazier, Jr. (Brenda), his daughter, Susan Frazier Newton (Rusty); Grandchildren, John Rhett Frazier, III (Gready), Julianne Frazier Reynolds (Joe), Jennifer Newton Warnock (Ralph), James Bradford Newton (Tara) and Robert Frazier Newton (Lauren); sisters-in-law, Catherine Williams Ford, Frankie Williams Prater, Ann Odom Frazier, and ten great grandchildren who brought smiles and love to him as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his grandson, William Blair Frazier.

A very special thanks for the love and devotion to him by Albert Miller, Rachel Burton, Geralynn Thomas, Demetria Alston and David Henley.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 15, 2020 in Aveleigh Fellowship of Presbyterians conducted by the Rev. Dr. Mitchell Van Metre.

Family will greet friends following the service at the church and continue to Rosemont Cemetery where all are invited to join them for John’s internment with Military Honors.

The family prefers memorials be made to Aveleigh Fellowship of Presbyterians, Music Scholarship Fund, 1211 Calhoun Street, Newberry, S.C. 29108.

Pallbearers will be grandsons, John Rhett Frazier, III, John Rhett Frazier, IV, James Bradford Newton, Robert Frazier Newton, Joseph Craig Reynolds and Ralph Dobbie Warnock

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

Whitaker Funeral Home of Newberry is assisting the family.

Previous Events





11:00 AM 2/15/2020 11:00:00 AM
Aveleigh Fellowship of Presbyterian

1211 Calhoun Street
Newberry, SC 29108

Aveleigh Fellowship of Presbyterian
1211 Calhoun Street Newberry 29108 SC
United States

Cemetery Details


Rosemont Cemetery Final Resting Place

2450 College St
Newberry, SC 29108

2450 College St Newberry 29108 SC
United States

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