George Lester Frazier went home to be his Lord on September 26, 2016 at the age of 84 years. He was born on March 26, 1932 in Chehalis, Washington, the ninth of 11 children. He worked long hard hours on his father’s farm as a child, then when the Korean War broke out voluntarily joined the Unites States Army in 1949. While in service for his country, he earned a Purple Heart award for bravery that occurred in live action. When not in Korea, he was stationed in Japan, which gave him an introduction to the Japanese people.
After returning from the Far East, George became a Christian and joined Bethel Temple in Seattle. There he met Mary Beth, after which they married on December 17, 1954. They were looking forward to soon celebrating 62 years together. George and Mary Beth had 3 children, Kathleen, who preceded him in passing in 2013, Sharon, and Dale. Soon after marriage, George attended Bethel Temple Bible School. Because of the great missionary heritage of that church and his previous experience in Japan during the Korean War, George felt strongly called to go to Japan to preach the Gospel. Mary Beth had also felt a call to Asia, though thought that it might be China. When George shared his passion with her, they decided to become missionaries to Japan.
Bethel Temple sent the Frazier family, including 3 children aged 4, 3, and 1 at the time, to Japan as missionaries in 1960. Air travel to the far east was still exotic in those days, so they took a steamship from Bellingham to Tokyo. After spending a year in Tokyo with the Bades, another Bethel Temple missionary family, learning about Japan and studying the language, they moved to the southern Island of Kyushu, as that was where George had been stationed earlier and he felt a strong call to that area. There, God did many miracles, including giving them free land in the city of Kurume under the condition that it be used for a church. George and Mary Beth served in Japan for a total of 39 years. Their original church, the Kurume Bethel Christ Church is still active and growing today. Many Japanese are now pastoring other churches after studying under George in a Bible School that he started in Kurume. Upon retirement from the mission field, they returned to the Seattle area and established an adult family home, where they were able to care for many older people, including some of the parents of their friends for many years.
George Frazier was a dynamic man with a large sense of humor. All who remember him can still see the large smile on his face and hear his loud laughing. He ministered to anyone he met and everyone was his friend. He is deeply missed by thousands of Japanese and Americans alike, as well as his family. George is survived by his wife Mary Beth, daughter Sharon Drury, and son Dale, along with 10 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.