Zelma M. Frisby, a retired case manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, died on Sunday, June 2, 2019. She was 92.
She was born April 17, 1927, in Lexington, South Carolina, to the late Willie Bynum and Bertha Summers Bynum. She was the youngest of 10 children and became known to family and friends as “Baby Bynum.”
The family moved to Philadelphia when she was about 6 years old and settled in North Philadelphia. She was educated in the Philadelphia public schools and graduated from Germantown High School in 1945.
Frisby worked for the federal government for years and then worked for the Department of Public Welfare, retiring as a case manager.
In January 1956, she married the late Charles Frisby. They were married until he died in 2004. Two daughters were born to their union. They instilled the importance of education, good manners and the love of music in their daughters.
She and her husband were successful in several real estate ventures, including ownership of the Attucks Hotel in South Philadelphia for nearly 25 years.
Frisby was a cook, baker and seamstress. She made many of her clothes and matching outfits for her daughters.
She was the happiest when getting together with her siblings and their families. Family cookouts, holiday meals and frequent phone calls were the norm, not the exception.
She and her husband loved to travel and enjoyed numerous adventurous trips with friends and alone. They traveled across the country via train and explored Hong Kong, South Korea and Hawaii. They indulged their mutual passion for jazz music with an annual Jazz Cruise where they rubbed shoulders with jazz aficionados from around the world. When staying closer to home, they were frequent visitors to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In the early 1960s, Christ Church and St. Michael’s Episcopal Church became her center of spiritual growth, where she joined many activities and cultivated lifelong friendships. She was a member of the altar guild and the Episcopal Church Women. She took great pleasure in helping with the annual jazz concert and Strawberry Festival.
In her later years, Frisby found a welcoming home at The Terrace, an assisted living community in Chestnut Hill.
She is survived by: her daughters, Jarma and Dawn; son-in-law, Broderick Byers; sister, Willie Rae Jones; brothers, James Bynum and Benjamin Bynum; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held June 10 at Christ Church and St. Michael’s Episcopal, McCallum and Tulpehocken streets. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is in Ivy Hill Cemetery.
Beckett-Brown and Hodges Funeral Home handled the arrangements.