Frager Spates

Born: 02/14/1948 Passed:

Frager Spates was born in Jasper, Alabama to the late Emphery and Annie M. Spates February 14, 1948 and in 1955 he was adopted by the late Frager and Altha Mae Spates, who brought him to Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Collinwood High School in 1966 and joined the United States Marine Corps. He was sent to Vietnam in January 1967 and served with Lima Co 3/5. During his enlistment, he earned numerous awards and was honorably discharged in 1969, he later became life member of the DAV and VFW organizations. Returning to civilian life, he worked for R/A sales as a warehouse worker and earned his promotion to outside salesman. He joined Two Cousins Health and Beauty chain as store manager, until he opened his own business, Quality Hair and Beauty. He later worked for and retired from the United States Postal Service. Frager was always ready for new adventures, including acting in a few plays at the Karamu House Theater. He received a 3rd class broadcast license and was a radio announcer on WGCL, he also studied real estate and finance at Cuyahoga Community College. He was a member of Parkside Church since 1988 where he was an usher.

Frager died on Sunday June 7, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Sontoja; sister, Joann James; and brothers, Joe Lee, Edward, Willie Spates and Johnnie Cunningham.

He is survived by his three children, Damien (Lecia), Corey (Hannah), and Carli Spates; three grandchildren, Nishani, Ashley Pearson and Vanessa Spates; four sisters, Beatrice Horton, Deloris Crayton, Brenda Powers and Marie Todd; three brothers, Gerald (Linda), Tommy (Betty), Terry (Darlene) Spates, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

A virtual Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 2 pm. Condolences and memories may be shared at

Heritage Cremation Society



21 Tributes to Frager Spates

  1. Joe Pollicino says:

    I served in Vietnam with Frager with Lima 3/5 in 1967. We reunited at a reunion in Cincinnati Ohio 1996. We saw each other at numerous reunions over the past 20 plus years. He will be missed by me and all our Lima brothers. SEMPER FI

  2. Leo Hand says:

    I met Frager at the Lima 3/5 reunions when I discovered them. I enjoyed sharing our experiences in Vietnam with each other even tho we weren’t in Vietnam at the same time. My wife and I would love talking to him at the reunions. He was well loved and will definitely be missed. SEMPER FI Brother.

  3. Jacquelyn Platek says:

    We met Frager at Parkside Church, where he has been one of the friendly ushers for many years. Frager has been a friend of our family since we started attending at Parkside in the late ’90s. His warm smiles, handshakes, and friendship will be missed. This is a loss for us but a gain for heaven, and we look forward to seeing his big smile again one day. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
    Love in Christ,
    The Platek Family

  4. Joe DiNardo says:

    I’ve had the privilege to usher with Frager at Parkside Church for many years and without a doubt you will not find a more warm, caring and genuine person. He’s definitely going to be missed on the ushering teams but as previously been mentioned our loss is definitely heaven’s gain! Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love in Christ,
    Joe and Pam DiNardo

  5. vicki orrell says:

    We at the Common Grounds Cafe have been blessed to see Frager every Sunday, either ushering or just chatting with visitors. His genuine interest in people shown through; especially when welcoming visitors. We will miss him greatly, both as a friend and a fellow believer…
    Vicki Orrell &
    the cafe staff

  6. Kirsten Frei-Herrmann says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Frager’s passing. He used to be our mail carrier before retiring from it…and then I also had the pleasure of being the recipient of his warm, smiling greetings at Parkside Church. He always was so warm and friendly. Frager- you will be missed, but Heaven has gained an amazing man. Until we see each other again.

  7. Pete McDonald says:

    I spent allot of quality time with Fraser as a fellow usher at Parkside Church. I was going through a terrible time in my life while my family was breaking up. We related as brothers do, when anxiety was prevailant. I will miss my friend Fraser. I am sad that i wil not be able to talk with him in this life. God bless and prayers for his family! He was a great man and soldier for Jesus Christ. Pete McDonald
    ps. any are welcome to contact me regarding Fraser…

  8. Peter McDonald says:

    I spent allot of quality time with Fraser as a fellow usher at Parkside Church. I was going through a terrible time in my life while my family was breaking up. We related as brothers do, when anxiety was prevailant. I will miss my friend Fraser. I am sad that i wil not be able to talk with him in this life.
    God bless and prayers for his family!
    He was a great man and soldier for Jesus Christ.
    Pete McDonald
    ps. any are welcome to contact me regarding Fraser…

  9. Rich and Barb Sypen says:

    I worked with Frager for over twenty at the post office. I worked right next to in the office. We had some fun times joking with each other. My wife and I also knew him form Parkside Church. He always had time to stop and talk. He will be deepley missed.

  10. Barb Thewes says:

    So sad to hear of Frager’s passing but happy to know that he is with Jesus right now!! He showed the light of the Lord to everyone. I especially loved his kidding of Bob telling him to behave at church. I will miss his hugs, his common sense and sharing our love of our Savior.
    Well done good and faithful servant
    Bob and I look forward to meeting you in heaven ❤️

  11. Joe and Sherry Betro says:

    For over 20 years I experienced the blessing of knowing and ushering with Frager, as a special brother in Christ, at Parkside Church. He demonstrated a sincere and compassionate approach toward the congregants at church. . Frager truly sought to be the “salt and the light” as he gave genuine witness to the Gospel. His presence in any situation gave one a sense of “everything will be alright.” He was a man among men, and will be deeply missed in our church family.
    In His Grip,

  12. Brad & Andrea Schuler says:

    Our family was saddened to hear of Fraser’s passing. We knew him as an usher at Parkside Church, where his contagious smile and sincere friendliness was a wonderful start to each Sunday morning. He will be greatly missed. Our condolences to his family.

  13. TJ Dyer says:

    Although Frager and I did not serve in Vietnam together; I arrived in 68-69 (maybe his replacement) we did serve in the same Marine infantry unit (L3/5) and we met doing one of our annual reunions and it was always a pleasure seeing Frager. Each year he always had a story I hadn’t heard yet and he was always pleasant with a smile. I will always remember having those late night push up contests in the hospitality room however none of us could beat Frager. He was the champ! Frager will be greatly missed and ALWAYS remembered. Semper Fi Marine

  14. Brother Mark Samsonas says:

    Frager was a fellow Parkside usher who served in Aisle 3. I was warmly greeted by Frager every other Sunday with his perfect smile and in a suit and tie. (No jeans for Frager!) He took his service to our Lord seriously. Even during his illness he was found faithfully serving others. He was the sort of Brother who you loved instantly. I am looking forward to once again serving with Frager at the right hand of our King, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  15. Robert Weiser says:

    I was fortunate to live on Cobblestone Lane and get to meet and talk to Frager on many occasions. A warmer, kinder person you will not find. I will miss his friendliness and all of the wonderful conversations we shared.

  16. Bonnie Sweebe says:

    Frager was the friendly usher that not only welcomed us at Parkside Church, but could turn any day into a happy one with his warm smile and quick wit. He made such a positive impression on our teenage son. Our family will deeply miss him. Our condolences.

  17. Tony Van Reusen says:

    I just found out about Frager’s passing this past Tuesday and was quite saddened. I first met Frager at Staging Battalion, Camp Pendleton in December 1966. In late January 1967, we were also together on the USS General Walker for transport to Viet Nam. When we arrived at Chu Lia, Frager, Harry White and I were assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines on Hill 69. Over that year, we participated in numerous operations, patrols and listening posts. After leaving the unit in January 1968, I lost contact with him. It was not until the late 1990’s that we were reunited at a Lima 3/5 Reunion. Each year I would look forward to seeing him and my other Lima 3/5 Brothers. Frager was a good man, a good friend and good Marine. I will always remember him as one of my warrior mates. May he rest in peace.

  18. Dan Cantrell says:

    You didn’t have to be around Frager long until you realize there was something special about him. He was a beloved member of the Lima family. I can say this with certainty.
    No one had a smile as grand or showed it more – it was his trademark.
    Behind the smile was a man of great character. Looking back on the time spent with him, he always embodied a warmth, and a feeling that he cared. I often wondered if he ever had a bad day because he was always upbeat and lighthearted.

    Frager was the only one that could fit in his dress blues. He still walked like he was on the parade ground, ramrod straight back, perfect stride and you never saw a wrinkled shirt on him. We still get a chuckle reminiscing back to the 90s when we still had a little testosterone in our systems and fueled by a few beers, a late night group of aging Marines were challenged by one Texan to a push-up contest, a couple of guys struggling to do 10. The Texan pushed out a remarkable 30 but before he could claim the title, Fraser got down and did an easy 50. At one of our annual dinners, it was realized we needed someone to say Grace right in the moment, and Frager stepped forward to deliver one of the most sincerest prayers I had heard – it was straight from the heart.
    Through the decades of reunions, my conversations with Frager were thoughtful and relevant, typically not about Vietnam. Although he acknowledged the war, he had a full and interesting life and I enjoyed all that he had to say.

    It wasn’t until recently that I found out Frager was wounded in March and September. Additionally, he was with the company on May 26,1967 our darkest day. Nearly half the company was killed or wounded. A fellow marine commented to me that he had observed Frager comforting a mortally wounded gunner that day and he was deeply moved by it. Semper Fi

  19. Brenda, James & Jabrenta Hubbard says:

    I am saddened by the loss of my cousin, Frager Spates. Please accept my condolence to his family. I know Frager loved each of his children very much. May God continue to bless each of you. Please carry on with the love that he shared with you and the positive life lessons that he taught.

    I remember growing up with Frager. Although it never came to fruition, as a child, I had believed that I would spend my adulthood living in Cleveland. One of my fondest memories with Frager was when he took me swimming. From this positive experience, I fell in love with your city and just knew all people in Cleveland were extremely friendly.

    It saddens me that Frager has left this Earth, but I know he is smiling from Heaven. My family and I offer our heartful love and sympathy. Please stay in touch with us, as we are all family. Be safe and healthy. Love to you all.

  20. Anonymous says:

    We feel so blessed to have met Frager he always had a smile on his face when serving as an usher. To us he typified a man with a servants heart.
    I know we will one day be rejoicing with him in the presence of Our Lord.
    Terry and Joan Williamson

  21. Kevin Jones says:

    Frager was a friend, and I feel very fortunate to have known him. I’ll miss his smile and the many conversations we had. He was a wonderful devout Christian. He was a class act– he walked the walk. I offer my deepest heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

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