Theodore Mason Frazell was born in Broken Bow, Nebraska, on October 2, 1923, the son of the Reverend Mason A. Frazell and Marietta Purcell Frazell. Ted’s father was a minister who would take off during the week on his motorcycle and meet cowboys around their campfires offering prayers and friendship. As a result of the Depression, Reverend Frazell moved his family from Nebraska to Lake Worth, Florida so he could work in the family bakery with his sisters.
Ted’s life journey was just beginning.
Ted earned the rank of Eagle Scout and was a writer for the school paper prior to graduating from Lake Worth High School. He then undertook a trip back to his birth state using the old-fashioned hitchhiking method. While in Nebraska, Ted was given a ride from a stranger who inquired about Ted’s interest in that part of the country. When Ted explained that he was born in Nebraska, and that his father was a minister who had to move to Florida looking for employment, the stranger asked if Ted’s father was the “Iron Horse Preacher” which surprised Ted and made him realize what a contribution his father had made in the area.
Ted returned to Florida and enlisted in the Navy during World War II. Although he was offered the opportunity to remain in the Navy as a commissioned officer after the war, he informed the Navy he wanted to return to Florida to marry his high school sweetheart. He returned to Lake Worth only to find she had married another.
Ted entered Penn State on the GI Bill and majored in Mechanical Engineering. It was during his time at Penn State that he saw an advertisement for a dance which included lessons. Ted went to the dance and, upon entering, was approached by a young woman who offered to teach him to dance. The woman, Mae Jean Fordyce, not only taught Ted to dance, but nine months later, on April 15, 1948, became Mrs. Theodore M. Frazell.
After graduation, Ted and Mae Jean lived in Northeast, Pennsylvania for a while before Ted joined the Black Rock Foundry, a metal casting company in Ohio as an engineer. He was transferred to Watertown to manage a sister plant of the Ohio company.
Ted was recruited to join the Sales Office of The Hanna Furnace Corporation of Buffalo as the Chief Metallurgist. It was in Buffalo, in 1958, that Ted and Mae Jean welcomed their daughter Julie into the family.
From the position of Chief Metallurgist, Ted was promoted to General Superintendent and then Vice-President and General Manager of the plant on Buffalo’s waterfront. Ted remained in that position until the plant closed in the early 1980s and retired shortly thereafter.
Ted and Mae Jean were involved in civic affairs in the Town of Hamburg, NY and in their church for many years. He and Mae Jean participated in the annual Christmas “Tea and Cookies” event where residents were invited into their beautifully decorated home, and Ted served on the Planning Board and the Town Beautification Committee for many years.
Tragically, their daughter Julie Patrice Frazell passed away suddenly in 2006. Mae Jean entered Fox Run Skilled Nursing Facility in 2015 and passed away on November 4, 2017, just months shy of their 70th wedding anniversary.
Ted also moved from his home in the Village of Hamburg in early 2017 to Fox Run.
Ted died peacefully on March 5, 2021. A Celebration of his Life will be held on Friday, March 26, 2021 at 7 PM in the Old Time Baptist Church, 5599 Camp Road, Hamburg, NY. Friend are invited to come and share their memories of Ted, Mae Jean and their lives and friendships.