On April 6, 2013, Jack Frazer passed away as a result of COPD, which he fought for 10 years.
Born on July 12, 1943, in Yakima, Wash., Jack spent most of his youth in Maryland and Long Island, N.Y., where he was captain of the football and track teams. He graduated from Brown University in 1966, then enrolled in the Peace Corps, where he served in Micronesia. During Peace Corps training on Molokai, Hawaii, he met Marda Campbell, whom he married on Truk Island, Micronesia, in January 1968.In April of that year, Jack’s mother, Bessie, became very ill and Jack was needed to take care of his younger brother Sean in Steamboat Springs.
Jack worked for his uncle at the sawmill in Fairview before going to work at the ski area, first as a lift operator and later on the ski patrol. In 1972, he built a log home south of Steamboat Springs, where he lived for the rest of his life, raising two children, Jennie and Kyle, with his wife Marda. It was the first of many log homes he built in the area, most of which bear his signature log construction style. In 1995, he gave up building and started a business doing material take-offs for lumber companies; he continued that business until his death.
He learned to ski at Howelsen Hill and returned there as a National Ski Patrol volunteer when his career moved to construction. He patrolled every Saturday for 15 years. He became proficient in avalanche control and taught avalanche safety courses for the National Ski Patrol for many years. He was patrol leader for several years and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Ski Patrol in 2002.
Jack loved to fish the streams and rivers of Northwest Colorado. He taught himself to fly-fish and spent many hours “stalking the wily trout.” Jack insisted there were no bad fishing days, only bad catching days. He enjoyed camping and always was the first one out of the tent in the morning, building a fire, making coffee and reading his beloved science fiction books until his friends and family joined him. He became an excellent campfire cook and eventually transferred that skill into cooking most of the meals at home.
Jack was a natural leader who enjoyed the company and conversation of good friends over a great glass of wine. His infectious laugh filled a room and drifted on the winds of Routt County during the many years he spent outside in the Rockies.
Jack is survived by his wife, Marda; his daughter Jennie Lake and her husband, Yama, of North Hollywood, Calif.; his son Kyle, of Denver; and his brother Sean, of Albuquerque, NM.
Friends are invited to a celebration of Jack’s life from 5 to 7 p.m. July 12, 2013, (his 70th birthday), at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Memorial donations can be made to the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, in care of Yampa Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 776090, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. For more information, call 970-879-1494.