Town Council members posthumously inducted former Mayor Pro Tempore Oscar James Frazier into the Town of Bluffton’s Wall of Honor July 12, prior to the Town Council meeting.
The poet laureate of Bluffton, a mayor pro tempore and a beloved town councilman, Frazier used his limitless energy, his love of people and his positions in the community to better his hometown.
Frazier published two volumes of poetry and a children’s book. He was appointed Bluffton’s poet laureate. In this role, he composed poetry for the Town-sponsored events.
Frazier was born Jan. 21, 1956, and graduated from H. E. McCracken High School. After serving in the U. S. Army for three years, he returned to Bluffton, where he served his community for the rest of his life.
Frazier worked as an entrepreneur and managed numerous types of businesses, including construction, roofing, landscaping as well as operating Bluffton’s first food truck, or red caboose, known as “Oscar’s Barbeque.”
He was first elected to Bluffton Town Council in 1998. During his tenure, he helped negotiate with developers, which began the town’s exponential growth from one square mile to today’s 54 square miles.
Frazier devoted his time and energy to also advocating for the children of Bluffton, serving on the boards of directors of the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Bluffton. He also volunteered with Beaufort County Parks & Leisure Services (PALS) for more than 26 years, during which he helped design Shults Park.
Frazier was the deacon chairman and co-founder of the Bible Missionary Baptist Church.
He also founded the Bluffton Poets Society, which he later renamed Poets & Writers-Storytellers Society (PAWSS), as a way of including more people and spreading literacy.
Frazier died Aug. 22, 2005, at the age of 49, just over a week after he found out he had a rare form of liver cancer.
Then-mayor Hank Johnston and Town Council proclaimed Aug.
28, 2005, as Oscar J. Frazier Day in Bluffton. The town and Beaufort County Council renamed Shults Park in his honor. Now, the Oscar J. Frazier Park hosts thousands of youth baseball and softball games every year.
Frazier’s widow, Marcia Renea, and his four children, Jacqueline, Oscar James Jr., Bridgette and Joshua all live in Bluffton. Two of his children have followed his path in public service. Oscar Jr. serves the community as an officer with the Bluffton Police Department.
Bridgette Frazier is a chef and a caterer like her Dad. “It’s extraordinary to say the least that a person’s life, legacy and existence can transcend them so much that they perpetually live forever,” she said. “I’m blessed and honored to utter the words that Oscar J. Frazier Sr. is my father. I put emphasis on the ‘is,’ because he’s never left me.”