Gary Dean ‘EB’ Frazer

Gary Dean “EB” Frazer, 87, of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, formerly of Chester, Illinois, passed away on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 after an extended sickness.

He was born to the late Everett and Blanche (nee Mansker) Frazer on September 20, 1936 in Chester, Illinois. Gary was the youngest of their 17 children. 

Growing up on the banks of the Mississippi afforded him many happy childhood memories. He recalled playing cowboys and Indians with his brother Wayne in the woods behind their house, swimming in the Mississippi River and watching his father explain navigation and river currents while fishing.


Gary attended Chester High School and excelled at athletics on the football, basketball and baseball teams. His senior year he was considered Southern Illinois’ most outstanding defensive lineman. Gary continued his love of playing football, earning a scholarship to Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.


He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor’s degree in education and later earned his Master’s at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He started his career teaching Industrial Arts at Menard Correctional Center in Chester, then moved on to be an Industrial Arts teacher at Sparta High School and Mt. Vernon High School. He was an excellent woodworker and craftsman who built numerous pieces that family and friends will cherish.

When living in Chester, Gary met his soulmate and the love of his life, Gaynelle Johnson. It was love at first sight for him. Their first date occurred when she was 13 and he was 14 ½, and he used his older brother’s car to impress her.


With a sweet smile, he would recall trying to keep one hand on the steering wheel and the other around her all while attempting to shift. Of course, this was unbeknownst to their parents!


Their romance continued through high school and college, where Gaynelle served as the accompanist for the university orchestra and Gary played football. They were married on August 24, 1957.


Together they enjoyed 66 years of marital bliss, including the birth of their son Gary in 1958 and their daughter Angela in 1960.

After retirement, Gary and Gaynelle moved to their favorite vacation spot, the Great Smoky Mountains. They enjoyed a long happy retirement. They cherished the times with friends and family visiting the area, especially camping with their grandchildren in Elkmont. They also enjoyed vacations with neighbors on RV camping trips and most notably, England. When they weren’t camping or traveling, they enjoyed many black bears and wild turkeys crossing their property.


Gary had become a local staple in Gatlinburg. From walking their beloved pets, enjoying dinner with the ROMEO’s (Really Old Men Eating Out) or eating cornmeal pancakes at the pancake pantry, Gary was there and ready to start a conversation.

Three words to describe Gary would be loving, kind and patient. He lived those words in his many roles as a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, coach, teacher and friend. With a faithful ball cap on his head, Gary touched many lives during his time here on Earth. Family was his world and he also had a way of making his friends feel like family. Whether he knew it or not, Gary helped everyone he met strive to be better and take the high road in life. He will be missed dearly by many.



        Gaynelle Rae Frazer

   1 Son:

        Gary (Karen) Frazer

   1 Daughter:

        Angela (Kenny) Hosp

   6 Grandchildren:

        Mallory (Jonathon) Kovack, Audrey (Denver) Frazer-Hall, Todd (Mary) Frazer, Marissa (Michael) Ingram, Kenny (Brittney) Hosp and Cassalyn Hosp

   8 Great Grandchildren:

        Isabella Frazer, Johnna Frazer, Julia Kovack, Maura Kovack, Easton Lackey, Deklan Hosp, Kya Hosp and Isla Ingram


Preceded in Death by: Parents, 7 Sisters – Evelyn Frazer, Ima Jean Frazer, Vivian White, Nina Kirkover, Dorothy Pilch, Wilma Glover and Geneva Bradley and 9 Brothers – Vernon Frazer, Herman Frazer, Wayne Frazer, James Frazer, Donald Frazer, Roger Frazer, Cole Burditt, Raymond Burditt and Norman Burditt

Funeral Service:

   1:00 pm, Saturday, December 2, 2023

   Pechacek Funeral Home, Chester, Illinois



   Rev. Jim Oppedal



   Evergreen Cemetery

   Chester, Illinois



   Saturday – 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

   Pechacek Funeral Home, Chester, Illinois

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church of Gatlinburg, Sevier County Food Ministries, Friends of the Smokies, Sevier County Humane Society, Southeast Missouri State University, Posey County Human Society, Chester Area Christian Food or Chester Animal Control