George R. Frazier


May 13, 1924 - September 1, 2021

George Robert Frazier, Jr. was born on May 13, 1924, Lawrence, Kansas, and died September 1, 2021 at 97 years of age.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan Carolyn Frazier (neé Foss).  He is survived by his three daughters, Jean Johnson (Chris), Jane McGrath (Tom) and Julie Pietras (Warren); his four grandchildren, John Pietras, Gretchen Pietras, Claudia Smith, Katherine McGrath and Adam McGrath; and four great-grandchildren, Carolina, T'Mia, Landon and Mason.

George grew up in Lawrence and graduated from high school there.  He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII and was a ball turret gunner on B-24s.  He flew 13 combat missions from a base in Italy; his plane was shot down over Vienna, Austria on March 22, 1945; although he suffered severe burn injuries, he was able to parachute out, being the only member of his crew to do so.  He landed behind enemy lines and was taken as a POW to a hospital in Vienna for treatment of his wounds.  After the Russian army liberated Vienna, he eventually reached home, and was sent to William Beaumont Hospital in El Paso, Texas for further extensive treatment of his injuries.

It was there that he met 18-year-old Joan Carolyn Foss, whose father was the chaplain at the hospital.  When she relocated to the Seattle area with her family, George followed and enrolled in the University of Washington where he received a BS in Electrical Engineering.  They married after Joan graduated from Pacific Lutheran University.

For most of his professional life George oversaw the west coast electrification of the Milwaukee Railroad.  He made many trips over the years on the railroad line between Tacoma and Montana, and managed to fit in a fair amount of antique shopping along the way, especially old clocks.  After leaving Milwaukee after the electrification was shut down, he also worked for a time as a consulting engineer.
In 1962 the family moved to Fircrest, Washington, and raised their three daughters in the house that George still lived in at the time of his death.  The house was filled with love and laughter, and many wonderful memories remain in the hearts of his family.

George and Joan were members of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fircrest, and served faithfully there in many capacities.  Even into his nineties, George was known to climb a ladder to reach something electrical high up in the ceiling that needed tinkering.

George's mind was endlessly curious about all things.  He would often pull out a dictionary or other book to settle questions that arose around the dinner table.  He taught his children to love God as he did, and to see the beauty in the small and grand things every day.  He loved music, and had quite a collection of musical instruments – flutes, drums, an electric keyboard and more – which he enjoyed using to play along with his vinyls and, later, CDs.  He spent hours tinkering at his basement workbench with anything electrical, even taking apart things with lasers to learn how they worked.