faced death by embracing life
Codi Frazier’s upbeat outlook inspired
ANDREA J. WRIGHT / Statesman
Codi Frazier, 11, grand marshal of
the Relay for Life, died Tuesday after a bout with cancer.
September 24, 2003
Frazier, the spunky grand marshal of this year’s Relay for
Life, died early Tuesday. The 11-year-old, who had osteosarcoma,
an aggressive bone cancer, spent the last moments of her life
surrounded by family and friends at Doernbecher Children’s
Hospital in Portland.
Loni Barrett, Codi’s stepaunt and caregiver, said the girl lived
first-class from the time that her cancer was diagnosed to the
time that she died.
“She got things and got to do things that children dreamed
of,” Barrett said. “It was a whirlwind series of activities
she enjoyed tremendously. It brought a lot of love and happiness
Codi’s sunny-side-up outlook captivated the hearts of many
during her short but full life.
“I think positive, look at the bright side,” Codi said in an
interview in the spring. “I want to enjoy all the moments before
Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who survived a bout with cancer himself, was
among those touched by Codi’s courage and strength.
He invited Codi and her friends to Mahonia Hall for a slumber
party. They ate waffles cooked by the state’s first lady and
attended the wedding of Patrick and Slush — Codi’s two stuffed
dogs. Oregon Supreme Court Justice Robert Durham performed the
ceremony and read a poem.
Kulongoski said Tuesday that although Codi had complete knowledge
about her condition, she never quit trying to live. He admired her
tenacity and attitude.
“She was very precocious and, at the same time, a very
sophisticated young lady,” he said.
Barrett worried about moving Codi from Keizer to West Salem this
summer. It turned out to be a good decision. Codi loved it and
spent hours on the front porch swing watching birds and squirrels,
listening to the creek, and enjoying the sounds, sights and
“She perked up,” Barrett said.
Codi lived more in her last year of life than most people do in a
She has been an honorary state senator for a day, a drag race crew
member, an honorary Kiwanis and Rotary member, and a Keizer Iris
Parade float personality. She has gone on a Make-A-Wish Foundation
Disneyland trip, been the subject of her own song “Codi Bug”
by Michael Mugrage, and even has an iris — “Codi’s Angel
Face” — named after her by Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Strong
community support made rides on Salem’s Riverfront Carousel,
excursions to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and trips
to the A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village possible.
Colleen Friedrich, a counselor at Cummings Elementary School, said
Codi was an amazing child who brought the entire community
“The outpouring of love that has come from all around because of
this child is incredible,” Friedrich said, her voice choked up.
“She’s gone through cancer, amputation, the loss of a parent,
diabetes and now this again, cancer. Yet she never, ever
complained. She came in here and opened her life to everyone
around her and invited us all in.”
School counselors were at Cummings Tuesday to help students deal
with Codi’s death.
Just a week and a half ago, the school made a video for her that
included personal greetings, a school song and teachers doing the
chicken dance. Watching the tape brought a smile to Codi’s face.
Teagan Qual, 10, of Keizer, who stayed home from school Tuesday,
said Codi was a great friend. He would stop by Codi’s house in
Keizer and wait for her to finish breakfast, then walk her to the
“She was really nice, and it was quite easy to make friends with
her,” said Teagan. “I’ll miss her voice. I liked it when she
Tom can be reached at (503) 399-6744.
Special to the Statesman Journal
Schreiner’s Iris Gardens named
“Codi’s Angel Face” after Codi Frazier.
ANDREA J. WRIGHT / Statesman
Codi Frazier (center), 10, her
best friend, Teagan Qual (right), 9, and Teagan’s cousin
played in June in Keizer.
The viewing will be at Barrick Funeral Home,
and funeral services will be at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Click here for
times and dates of the services, or to see pictures of Codi and