Dr. Harry W. Frazier, 83, of Huntsville, Alabama, died in calm repose July 9, 2019, comforted by his loving wife of 59 years, Sherald, and other family members.
Harry was born at home on December 24, 1935 to Pearl and Esther Frazier of Des Moines, Iowa. He was the youngest of eight siblings, seven brothers and one sister, the oldest 21 years his senior. When Pearl descended the steps of their home and announced, “It’s another boy!” there were likely a few groans and eye rolls, but they loved Harry nonetheless.
Harry excelled as a student-athlete at East Des Moines High and was later inducted into its Hall of Fame. He earned a track scholarship from the University of Iowa where he ran cross country, the 880, and relays, competing alongside national champions and Olympians of his day. Years later, he still wore his black and gold Hawkeye letterman ring with Big Ten pride.
He received a BS in chemistry and worked in agricultural and environmental science for MACP in St. Louis. They held open his job while he attended Purdue University for a PhD in organic chemistry. Prior to grad school, he asked fellow MACP employee Sherald Jernigan to marry him. Good thing for us, she said “Yes!” and did in June 1960.
Grad school was tough, but Harry endured, his academic odyssey enriched by the birth of Michael Wayne in 1961 and Sandra Lynn in 1962.
He returned to MACP in 1965, and in 1966, Thomas Wayne was born. Harry loved research, learning from more experienced colleagues, and in turn, mentoring others and cheering them on. He always made time to encourage and read to his children, instilling in them a love of art, history, literature, and travel.
In 1981, he was promoted to Director of International Research Laboratories and moved to Brussels, Belgium for 3½ years. He traveled across Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa, made life-long friends, and took his family on many culturally rich adventures.
Harry returned to St. Louis and became Director of Environmental Science at MACP before retiring in 1990. He had an “encore career” at Ricerca Bioscience near Painesville, Ohio where he and Sherald enjoyed snowy winters and balmy summers full of exploration and golf.
In retirement, they traveled widely (including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Costa Rica), golfed, followed local women’s sports, and faithfully attended grandchildren activities and events. Besides Sherald, Harry is survived by children Michael Frazier (Katherine), Sandra Brown (Michael), and Thomas Frazier; grandchildren David Brown, Daniel Brown, Joshua Brown, Jonathan Frazier, Kaitlyn Frazier, and James Frazier; and numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Harry said repeatedly he’d had a good life with no regrets. He crossed the finish line and broke the tape with his head held high.