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Mansfield Frazier, founder of Chateau Hough, dies at 78

Mansfield Frazier.jpg
Posted at 3:52 PM, Oct 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-10 23:15:48-04

One of Cleveland's most beloved residents—Mansfield Frazier— has died at 78.

Frazier was well-known and liked in Cleveland and made it his life's work to improve the lives of others. He was an author and activist and also local business leader and a journalist who was a member of the Greater Cleveland Association of Black Journalists.

His daughter Alyson Frazier announced his death on Facebook.

"Mansfield S. Frazier Jr., my father passed away last night. He is finally with his son Alan, his brother Thomas, and his parents Nettie Mae and Mansfield S. Frazier Sr.

My father was a complex, knowledgeable and interesting man who reinvented himself many times over. He was one of the smartest men I've ever known. He saved my life at birth. He carried me around in his robe pocket when I was an infant. He was the coolest dad at dinnertime- when other kids' dads rang dinner bells- my dad whistled so loud you could hear him at the end of the block. He taught my to play Backgammon. He taught me how to read when I was three. When we were trapped in a snowstorm when I was 8, he wrapped me in his coat and walked miles to find food. He let us go down the manholes downtown when he was at work. He could speed down all the floors at the May Co. parking garage without stopping. He was the proudest grandfather ever, even after she threw up on his head at 3am, the first time they met! He was even proudest to be a great grandfather- He made Alex a busy board when he was almost 2.

I can't believe he's gone. I will miss him forever. I love you chicken was the last thing he said to me. 60 years just was not enough. I love you dad," Frazier said.

His other daughter, Ashley Smith, said she wished for more time with him. She met her father as an adult a few years ago through 23 and Me.

"On November 19, 2019 God saw fit to connect me to you using a 23 and Me DNA test. Yesterday, October, 9, 2021 God saw fit to call you home. Looking at this video, the love and bond we shared was undeniable. It was like we never missed a beat, you became my best friend right away. I REALLY wish we had more time, to know I'll never be able to call you or see you seems unbearable right now but I am so grateful that we got to know one another when we did. God makes no mistakes and when I can't understand why He allows what He allows I trust His loving heart towards me. I am so honored to by your Sunshine, you were an amazing man and your legacy will no doubt live on. Goodnight dad, until we meet again old man," Smith said.

More than a decade ago, Frazier wanted to help the Hough neighborhood which was plagued by violence and dilapidated properties. He created a diamond in the rough—a winery named Chateau Hough.

Hidden Gems - Chateau Hough 2.jpg

Frazier made it his mission to help everyone in need, especially those who had a troubled past and hired them at the winery.

Hidden Gems - Chateau Hough 3.jpg

Frazier spent six years in prison for counterfeiting but turned his life around—doing the same for others who also needed a second chance.

A winery is changing this Cleveland neighborhood

Grapes hanging from the vines of Chateau Hough.

He hired former prisoners and helped them prosper and return to society as better versions of themselves.

A winery in Cleveland is changing the neighborhood of Hough

Following his death, former Cleveland city councilman Joe Cimperman tweeted that Frazier was a "champion for human rights" and personally taught him so much.

"What a force of life. May we live and work to deserve him," Cimperman said.

Cleveland mayoral candidate Justin Bibb said Frazier's life story was one of "redemption and second chances."

"I'm keeping his family in my heart at this difficult time, Bibb said.

Cleveland Council president and mayoral candidate Kevin J. Kelley also tweeted his condolences Sunday morning.

"Cleveland is a better place because of the activism, vision and voice of Mansfield Frazier. I offer my condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time," Kelley said.

Chateau Hough is located at the intersection of Hough Avenue and East 66th Street. It's one of Cleveland's most unique Hidden Gems.

RELATED: How a winery in one of Cleveland's forgotten neighborhoods is changing lives

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