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John G. Frazer Memoriam 1997

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In Memoriam - JOHN G. FRAZER
Railfan - Membership Secretary - Fair Caboose Chairman - Historian - 1946 - 1996
by Rick Henn

          During this past year of 1997, the WNYRHS lost two valued and active members, John G. Frazer and Alan F. Toale. They believed in and were dedicated to the goals and ideals of the WNYRHS. More importantly they were personal friends to many of us. And while their passing is very sad I don't think they should be remembered with sadness. Instead we should remember their a accomplishments and celebrate their lives. The WNYRHS has done this by adding their names to our "Roll of Honor." I am sure you will agree that they are deserving of the recognition.

John Frazer joined the society in 1983. He was enthusiastic about trains and about life. He enjoyed getting out to work parties and it seems, according to his wife , that the dirtier he got the more fun he had. She recalled his returning from a deadhead move behind the 765 were he apparently spent the entire trip leaning out of a vestibule door. He was "crununy" with soot and cinders, exhausted but happy as could be.

John was dedicated. He would do whatever needed to be done whether that was stripping a burned passenger car or manning the phones for a special event. When health concerns limited his ability to join in at work parties, he continued to do whatever he could and eventually took on the somewhat daunting task of Membership Secretary, a position that was filled by his wife. His favorite activity was acting as safety conductor for excursions. It was "his thing" and he worked every trip. His uniform reflected his love of the Erie Railroad.

It probably wasn't surprising that John enjoyed the trips because he enjoyed people and talking with them. He could talk to anyone and talk knowledgeably on a wide range of subjects. Railroading may have been his favorite but he also was interested in all forms of transportation and World War II.

John's love of trains resulted in a collection of date nails, paperwork and a large collection of lanterns which was his special love. He also had every hat the WNYRHS ever sold. John loved trains. If he wasn't riding he was chasing or sitting in one of his favorite train watching spots around the Depew Amtrak depot or at the Lake Avenue crossing.

John contributed much to the success of the WNYRHS and to the lives of those who had the privilege to know him. He will be missed. I would like to thank his wife, Diane Frazer, for her assistance in preparing this article.

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