Louise Frazer passed away Saturday, January 23rd, 2021, surrounded by her family. A deeply devoted and loving wife, mother, and grandmother, Louise lost her husband Archie Frazer three years ago, but is survived by her seven children: Terry Gardner, Sam Frazer, Dan Frazer, Steve Frazer, Mitch Frazer, Barbara Rumsby, and Beth Aguilar. She has sixteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Louise was born in Pocahontas, Tennessee, the fifth child of Wylie Franklin Mathis and Margaret Elizabeth Wilbanks. She grew up in rural Tennessee on a cotton farm, where she enjoyed wandering in the woods and playing practical jokes with her brothers and sisters. As a child she loved baseball, climbing trees, and reading. Idle hours were spent dreaming of exploring the world. While her two older brothers served at the Battle of the Bulge, Louise studied maps of Europe and dreamed of when she too would travel. She wrote in her memoirs many years later, “lulled to sleep each night by the sound of the train whistle in the distance I would dream of being on that train going to some exotic far-away place. After I did leave, I came to the realization that what I had left behind was a beautiful countryside that inspired the peace and tranquility that I was always seeking elsewhere.”
At age sixteen, Louise moved to Memphis where she worked at the Claridge Hotel. While in Memphis, she met Archie Frazer. They married in 1950, and after the birth of their first daughter moved west to the San Francisco Bay Area, initially living in San Francisco, then East Palo Alto, and finally the current family home in Los Altos. Between 1951 and 1962, Louise had seven children. Shortly after her youngest child was enrolled in grade school, Louise began attending night school to earn her high school diploma. She went on to become a successful real estate broker in Los Altos, working with Powell and Lee, Goodenough and Hobson, & Coldwell Banker.
Louise had a love of learning that she carried with her throughout her life. She read every interesting book she could lay her hands on, and she studied history to understand the world around her and her place in it. She realized her childhood dreams of travelling through Europe, and there began research into her family’s genealogy. After decades of dedicated research, Louise produced two genealogy volumes, one on the Frazer family and one on the Mathis family. Through her studies she was able to trace the Frazer family line back to the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
Louise’s true passion in life was her family and her home in California. For a woman who jokingly told her children she “never wanted any kids,” she dedicated her life to making them happy. Her ability to instill significance into small things, such as trees, the syllables of a word, birthday cakes, and club sandwiches taught her children to appreciate every element of life. She urged her children to search for meaning in everything, to seize every opportunity for education and adventure, and to be fiercely independent.
Having successfully raised seven children on beans, greens, cornbread, and buttermilk, Louise spared no expense on her sixteen grandchildren. In addition to spoiling them with frequent shopping trips and numerous boxes of See’s Candies, she was endlessly supportive of their pursuits and excited to hear them tell of their adventures. After retirement, Louise dedicated her time to more than just spoiling her grandkids. She loved taking long drives with Archie to the Sierra Nevada, where they reminisced about Archie’s time stationed in Yosemite during World War II. She read voraciously, often finishing three books in a single week. She took up painting at age 70, taking classes at the local senior center and teaching her grandkids how to paint landscapes, birds, and sunsets. She was an active participant in the lives of her entire family. Her wit, sense of humour, endless curiosity, and banana pudding will be forever missed.
The Charity we would like to support is:
Day Worker Center of Mountain View
113 Escuela Avenue
Tel: 650 903 4102