In memory of
Patricia "Trish" Payton Frazier April 27, 1956 - September 14, 2019 NORMAN Patricia "Trish" Payton Frazier, 63, of Norman, OK, died on Sept. 14, 2019, surrounded by her family. She was a beloved wife, mother, sister, and friend. Trish was born in 1956 in Texarkana, AR to Homer Harold Payton and Mary Ellen Payton. She spent most of her childhood in Muskogee, OK and made frequent visits to her grandparents' homes near Heber Springs, AR and Pottsville, AR. With her parents and older sister, Mary Beth, she spent many summer vacations camping and exploring the American West, especially the mountains of Colorado. As a child, Trish developed a love for reading and studied piano and vocal music. In her teenage years, she sang in the St. Paul's Methodist choir alongside her father. Her mother taught Trish to sew and make elaborate outfits, a skill that she would later use to make clothes for her children and others. Trish graduated from Muskogee High School in 1974. She then attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in music history in 1978, primarily under the direction of Dr. Ernest Trumble. She continued to study music history at the University of North Texas for two years. In 1980, she married Jimmy Frazier, whom she had met at OU. They had two children, Jeffrey and Caitlin. Beginning with the birth of her first child, Trish chose to not work outside the home for ten years, focusing most of her time and attention on her children and their education, formal and informal. She'd later refer to this time as "my Martha Stewart days." She loved making everyday things special. She filled the house with music, raising her kids to be both music appreciators and performers. She also taught piano lessons to young students. The family had several beloved dogs over the years, and Trish loved spoiling them and including them in family activities. In June, she and Jimmy adopted a Scottish Terrier that Trish adored and called "my little Petey." Trish was actively involved in her children's schools and the community. As a board member and later Executive Director for the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma, Trish advocated for issues she cared about, including gun control and public education reform. She also organized forums for candidates seeking public office. While working for the League of Women Voters, Trish discovered a passion and talent for public policy. Taking night and weekend classes, she pursued a master's degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma, which she completed in 1996. In 1997, Trish went to work for the Oklahoma Public Employees Association and would remain there for almost 20 years. She soon became the policy director. At the beginning of each legislative session, she read every bill that had been filed in both houses of the state legislature, made notes as to their potential effects on state employees, and provided strategies for supporting or opposing them. She also authored several pieces of legislation that were enacted into law. While there, she fought for the rights of state employees across the state and helped to save numerous jobs. She advocated to keep state homes for the developmentally disabled open, and fought the privatization of prisons. She was a regular at the State Capitol and had genuine relationships with everyone she met, regardless of status. She was a mentor to many, especially young women. At OPEA, Trish often addressed the individual grievances of state employees. She was always willing to try to help a child welfare worker who was having trouble with insurance or a Department of Transportation worker who was having trouble with a supervisor. She was often the first person called in a crisis, and was relentless in getting a family the care they needed. Trish joined the Episcopal Church during her college years. She loved St. John's Church in Norman, and was active on virtually every committee and group during her 40-plus years there, especially the children's choir, Christmas pageants, Santa Ministry, and eucharistic visitors for the sick and disabled. She sang soprano in the choir and had recently joined a service group called the Daughters of the King, where she made many of her closest friends. In 2016, she was recognized by the St. John's leadership as a "Saint of St. John's." In 2012, Trish was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive, incurable disease of the lungs. She met her health problems with grace and strength, undertaking a multiyear program of exercise and strict diet to prepare her body so that it would be healthy and strong enough to honor a donated lung. In June 2017, she received a life-giving gift of a lung transplant. In March 2019, she was able to attend her son's wedding. Trish was preceded in death by her parents, Homer Harold Payton and Mary Ellen Payton, of Muskogee, OK. She is survived by her husband of 39 years, Jim Frazier, of the home in Norman, OK; her sister, Mary Booze, of Camden, AL; her son, Jeffrey Frazier, and her daughter-in-law, Alison Frauenglass, of New York City; her daughter, Caitlin Frazier, of Washington, DC; and numerous extended family members. The Funeral Service will be at 10 a.m. on Oct. 5, 2019, at St. John's Episcopal Church in Norman. Trish was passionate about music and originally came to her church to be a choir member in 1974. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the St. John's Episcopal Church Music Program. Online donations can be made at: https://episcopalnorman.org/donate.html . Choose the option that says "In Memory of Trish Frazier." Also, checks may be sent to the address below (note that it is being sent in memory of Trish Frazier): St. John's Church, P.O. Box 2088, Norman, OK 73070.
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