Marsha Frazier, who served the community as president of the North County Emergency Outreach Network (NCEON) for 25 years, died Oct. 15, but her fellow volunteers say the cost of a death notice may have prevented others from hearing about her passing.
Frazier stepped down from the nonprofit in October 2015 when her health began to decline, after having served as president for nearly all of the group’s existence. NEON is a Christian network of churches and community organizations that offers assistance with groceries and sometimes medication or electric bills.
Long-time volunteer Sophie Benney, 89, said after all Frazier’s work in the community, she felt Frazier should be honored for her contributions. She said word spread slowly about Frazier’s death, and only by mouth.
“She was very dedicated to NEON, and she created people who were,” Benney said.
Former volunteer Eloise Hashagen said she was shocked to learn at a Thanksgiving luncheon of Frazier’s death, although she knew Frazier hadn’t been well.
“She had been dead three weeks before I got the message,” Hashagen said. “I would have gone to the viewing if I had known. She built (NCEON) up to what it is today. The thing with her was she knew everyone in Glen Burnie – she knew who to get in touch with to help people.”
Hashagen’s late husband Charles worked as NCEON’s vice president for 18 years, and Hashagen said somewhere along the way, she began to volunteer, too.
“I think they were good together,” Hashagen said. “She was just nice, considerate and thoughtful.”
Benney said Frazier attended Glen Burnie Improvement Association meetings and was involved with the Big Glen Burnie Carnival and parades for many years.
“As a leader, she was good,” Benney said. “She recognized people’s talents – she always suggested to work in the pantry and get familiar with what NEON does. Then she’d watch you, and if she thought you were capable of more, she pushed it.”
Benney said she was pushed, and she moved on to the front desk and later to an interviewer position. She said for those in need, Frazier attempted to push beyond what NEON could offer.
Frazier met with representatives from the Maryland Food Bank, the Salvation Army, the Department of Social Services and Arundel House of Hope to learn about resources available to those in need. If she couldn’t help folks through NCEON, she knew where to refer them to access help. Frazier trained the staff at NCEON to refer folks, although some of the organizations now have their own, unique programs.
“Marsha was active in the community and she was knowledgeable of all the services available,” Benney said. “If you had a problem and didn’t know where to direct them or what to do about it, then she usually could help them.
“She’d come out front sometime, if there was a big problem, and just sit and listen – that was the kind of boss she was – because NEON meant a lot to her.”
Current NEON president Jan Murphy said after Frazier’s health went downhill, fellow volunteer Vera Sharp would deliver chocolate cake to her.
“She loved her chocolate cake,” Murphy said.
Benney said she knows she helps some people – not all – and she figures Frazier must have felt the same. She said she thinks folks would quit volunteering without that sense of fulfillment.
Frazier wasn’t afraid to talk to people, Benney said, and she talked to them like a mother – sometimes telling them things she thought they needed to hear rather than wanted to hear.
“I think she really loved people, or she wouldn’t have worked [here] that many years,” Benney said. “I think she liked what she was doing, and she understood what she was doing and I think she made a difference in people’s lives, because when I was interviewing, sometimes someone would mention ‘the one that died’. She was happy when she was here.”
Faith Baptist Church, 7378 E. Furnace Branch Road, will present Christmas with the 8:30 Band – Night of Worship 6:45–8:15 p.m. Thursday. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Seating is first come, first served.
Visit www.welcometo.faith/christmas-in-glen-burnie or call 410-761-5346.
Restaurant donates training meals to local agencies
If you’ve driven down Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie recently, you’ve likely seen a full parking lot with folks eager to check out Bubba’s 33, which opened Dec. 3.
The restaurant brought 170 jobs to the community, and while training new employees, the meals prepared were offered to area police officers, firefighters and guests at the Arundel House of Hope and the Baltimore Rescue Mission.
Before its official opening, the restaurant hosted a fundraiser for the DO Believe Foundation, which supports those with childhood cancer.
The Glen Burnie site is the 25th Bubba’s location, and offers stone-baked pizzas and burgers. For details, visit www.bubbas33.com.
To share your news in the Glen Burnie area, contact Amy Laque at MDGazetteAmy@gmail.com or 443-924-6440. Follow her on Twitter @GlenBurnieTalk.