Loved and beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, Mason, and friend passed away March 19, 2021. James will be greatly missed by children, Diane (Danny), Denise, Danny (Jami), Lodema Fraley Jones, nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years Lenora “Becky” Snedegar Fraley, parents Burns and Austa Snedegar Fraley, sister Wilma, brother Orville and daughter Dana Leigh Fraley.
His greatest calling in this life was the role of "Papaw" to Emily Wages, Macey D. Maze, Darby D. Fraley, Olivia K. Maze and James Griffin “Griff” Fraley. Big James/Papaw never missed a chance to spend time with his grandchildren. Like Becky, he overflowed with pride and love for each one.
Born May 7, 1928 in Midland, KY. James graduated from Salt Lick High School in 1948. The “Midland not Salt Lick” boys maintained a close friendship throughout the years, and were known to pull some stunts and share tall tales of their escapades. James loved his time with his friends, sharing memories of growing up, his service time, work and travel, and later sharing these same tales at the coffee shops - Dairy Queen or McDonalds - where he hardly missed a day; and with the St. Claire Cardiac rehab team for over 18 years.
James served in the Air Force in Korea and Japan four years. James was one of the early Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline employees, working at the Wyoming “station” for 35 years. After retiring, “Big James” drove a bus for 20 years with the Bath County School System, worked the Keeneland spring and fall meets, and served on the Owingsville City Council.
James was a 75 year member of the Masonic Lodge. He became an apprentice in May, 1949 and Master Mason in 1949. He was Master of Phelps Lodge in 1949, with dual membership in Bath 55 Lodge. James was Master Bath 55 1967, district deputy grand master 1968-69, appointed the Grand Lodge of Kentucky Grand Tyler 1999-2000, and was appointed to the Committee of Transportation 2001 by the Grand Lodge. James received his 33rd Degree in 2002, which is the highest level of Masonic degrees. James joined the Scottish Rite and York Rite in Lexington, 1971, and in 1972, joined the Oleika Temple in Lexington. James received the Royal Order of Scotland in 1993. James received the Bath County Community Service award in 2018, for the help and support he provided to many children of the area through the Shriners Hospital. James loved loading the kids on the buses for the Shriners Circus. The Shriners always made sure every child had the opportunity to see the circus, have a pop, popcorn and cotton candy.
James was a member of the Owingsville Christian Church where he served as a deacon and trustee. James was a member of the University of Kentucky Committee of 101 for 30 years, enjoying the UK football and basketball games, and the Sweet 16 Basketball Tournaments.
Always the jokester and ready to laugh, James never met a stranger or a fart machine he didn't like. James always loved to cook, always making sure everyone had something to eat. His Fraley Burgers are a favorite. James leaves a legacy of service and stewardship; leaving lasting marks throughout the community and surrounding areas. James was the shining example of a life well lived; a life overflowing with experiences, service, compassion, kindness, and unconditional love.
In accordance with his wishes, Memorial Services will be conducted 6:30 pm Monday, March 22, 2021 with Masonic Rites to follow at 7:00 pm. in the chapel of the Michael R. Gray Funeral Home in Owingsville.
Visitation at the Michael R. Gray Funeral Home in Owingsville is from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm. Monday.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of James to Christian Social Services or Shriners Hospital for Children.
A special thank you to Jeannie Donohue, Sonny Rawlings, Lawrence Richards, and the Bath 55 Lodge for their friendship, care and support of James and our family.