Jerome A. Frazel, 89, of Beverly, died Feb. 6.
Born in 1926, after graduating from St. Teresa’s Catholic School in Coral Gables, Fla., in a class of ten students, Frazel entered the University of Notre Dame. He then matriculated at Georgia Tech in Atlanta after entering the U.S. Navy.
After his military service, he attended law school at Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, he met his future wife of 65 years, Joanne K. Hickey, who was studying at St. Mary’s College.
After completing his law degree, he began to practice in Chicago. He joined Hinshaw and Culbertson in 1959. The firm, at that time, had 13 other attorneys. Frazel remained a senior partner as Hinshaw grew into the national firm of over 500 attorneys it is today. In 1976, the Notre Dame Club of Chicago gave him its Man of the Year Award.
“My father was a man of deep faith, integrity and honesty,” said his son Mark. “He raised me and my eight brothers and sisters by living an exemplary life. We all witnessed the strength of his character in every day he lived.”
A life-long resident of the Beverly neighborhood, Frazel was active in social causes in the 1960s.
“He took us to hear Martin Luther King’s speech at Soldier Field in June 1964,” said Mark. “We learned every person is equal.”
Frazel was active in the St. Barnabas St. Vincent DePaul Society for decades and the Organization for the Southwest Community, which worked to fight housing discrimination.
“We like to say he invented crowd funding or Kickstarter,” his son Jerome added. “In the early ’60s, he got a dozen friends to each kick in $100 for a house down payment—for a Mexican immigrant family in the Back of the Yards. We have the paperwork he saved showing all the money was paid back and the family raised their eight children there.”
He served on board of the Cana Conference of the Archdiocese of Chicago. A founding member of Illinois Right to Life, he was a co-author of an amicus curiae brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade case.
Frazel also knew the importance of laughter in every day life.
“His sense of humor and fun was tremendous,” said Mark. “He loved Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Bob and Ray, Max Schulman and, above all, S.J. Perelman.”
Funeral services were held Feb. 9 from Donnellan Funeral Home to St. Barnabas Roman Catholic Church. Interment followed at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, Joanne K.; his children, Mark (Carey Lundin), Anne (Mark) Onstott, Matthew (Nancy Snyder), Mary (Glen Nagel), Frank (Jeanne), Jerome (Nancy Wilder), Rosemary (Roger Howley), Thomas and Christina Frazel; his grandchildren, Vincent and Anthony (Amy) Onstott, Malin and Reed Frazel, Maeve and Ruby Nagel, Ellen (Nate) Friedman, Joanne and Thomas Frazel, Paul and Michael Frazel, and Mairead and Nora Howley; his great-granddaughter, Margaret Onstott; and his brother, William (Maureen).
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Barnabas St. Vincent DePaul Society, 10134 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago, IL 60643.