Heather Turner Frazer



NORTHEAST HARBOR – Heather Turner Frazer of Ocean Ridge, Fla., and Northeast Harbor died on May 15, 2016, after a long and challenging journey with breast cancer. She died at home in Florida surrounded by members of her loving and supportive family.

Heather was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Nov. 25, 1940, the daughter of James Sinclair Turner and Virginia Heathcote Turner. Her father was in the islands working on installations at Pearl Harbor for his father’s firm, Turner Construction Co. Heather was building sand castles on the beach in northern Oahu at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Her family moved back to the mainland in 1943 so that her father could join the Marine Corps. Heather grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from the Cambridge School of Weston and Connecticut College before receiving a M.A. and Ph.D. in South Asian history from Duke University.

Perhaps Heather’s early exposure to a significant historical event influenced her decision to become a history professor.

After completing her course work at Duke, she spent three years in England, where she had two children and completed research for her doctoral dissertation, Heather moved to Florida, had her third child and joined the History Department at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. She taught for 35 years before retiring in 2006. Her research and publications were in the areas of India, women’s history, and oral history, but she took the greatest pleasure in her teaching and trying to inspire a love of learning in her students.

She served on the boards of Gulf Stream School, Old School Square in Delray Beach, the Ocean Club of Florida and the vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach. She also treasured her service as a trustee of the Northeast Harbor Library, a member and president of the Garden Club of Mount Desert, and as a vestry member of the Parish of St. Mary’s and St. Jude on Mount Desert Island. In recent years, she most enjoyed traveling and being with her extended family — especially her grandchildren.

She was married for 12 years to Patrick Coughlan, with whom she had three children, Kimberly Gilmour, Devon and Carter. After their divorce, she was blessed with a 32-year marriage to a remarkable man, Persifor Frazer (Perky), until his death in 2008.

In addition to her children and their spouses, Heather is survived by five loving stepchildren — Persifor (Pokey), David, Randal, Lucius and Sloan-as well as their spouses, six grandchildren, 12 step-grandchildren, a brother (Jeffrey H. Turner) and a sister (Lisa Phillips Turner).

A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on May 23 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Gulf Stream School, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, The Scholarship Committee of the Northeast Harbor Library or the Parish of St. Mary’s and St. Jude’s in Northeast Harbor.

Know when to pay your respects.