Katherine R. Frazer


Katherine R. Frazer, 92, of Saxtons River, Vermont, a long time member of Putney Friends Meeting, died on January 28, 2016. Kay was born May 8, 1923 in Hazlet, New Jersey, daughter of Angelo and Madeline R. (Young) Webster. She had academic credentials in nursing and in divinity, and graduated from Methodist Teaching Hospital and Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1954 she married Grant Frazer. In 1960 his teaching career brought them to Saxtons River, where she had what she considered the good fortune to live for the rest of her life.

At this time Kay and Grant became active in Putney Friends Meeting contributing richly to its spiritual life and social outreach. At that time the location of the Meeting was fluid and held at various locations including Friend’s homes. Kay and Grant welcomed Friends on numerous occasions to their home for worship, business and committee Meetings, Friendly eights, Quaker women’s luncheons and other social events.

Kay’s interest in social concerns and justice led her down many pathways. In 1965, seeing a need in the community for seniors and shut-ins to have a social outlet, she formed “Club 39,” whose Christmas parties became a much anticipated community event. Working in the area’s hospital and a physician’s office, she recognized the need for better home nursing care, and was instrumental in the formation of the Visiting Nurse Association. Later, she played a role in the formation of Our Place Drop-In Center, which provides services for people with limited resources in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and volunteered at Parks Place, a center for numerous community services in Bellows Falls until her 90th year. In the 1980’s Kay participated in forming one of the first restorative justice programs in the state of Vermont and served on a restorative justice panel in Springfield for many years. This served as a model for the restorative justice system to take root and spread throughout the State, with 20 restorative justice centers now active.

Another important concern to Kay was Quaker adult education. She and her close friend Hattie Reeves-Forsythe convened the Putney Friends Meeting adult education committee for many years, imparting their life experience and wisdom in Quaker faith and practice to new members and seekers.

Sensing a need in the Meeting, Kay was instrumental in initiating a “healing circle” that promoted healing through focused Friends worship. The healing circle of members and attenders met for a number of years providing comfort to those in distress.

Kay served the Meeting in many ways from recording clerk to fellowship on various committees. Her baked desserts were favorites at Meeting potlucks and her recipes are still shared among Putney Friends.

During Meeting for Worship, Kay’s vocal testimony was always powerfully Spirit led and long remembered. Her voice and presence among us will be missed. We hold up Kay’s life as a pattern for creating social outreach and justice in our community.13820922_1381772895171173_1924835931_n

She is survived by a son, Dr. James E. Frazer and his wife Sharon, of Mishawaka, Indiana; a daughter, Susan R. Frazer-Stebbins of Saxtons River; five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.


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