Former Long-time Frager’s Co-owner Ed Copenhaver Dies

Former Long-time Frager’s Co-owner Ed Copenhaver Dies

by Larry Janezich

Ed Copenhaver, who along with business partner John Weintraub bought Frager’s Hardware in 1975, died early yesterday morning at NOVA hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, after a long illness.  He was 73.

Copenhaver was a familiar face in Frager’s until his retirement in 2012.  Frager’s employees remember him as a “pure gentleman.”  A Capitol Hill resident who knew Copenhaver told CHC, “John Weintraub has always been seen as the guiding force of Frager’s, and he certainly is the business side of it, but Ed was its heart and soul.  In addition to being the floor manager customers saw and loved, he employed Hill kids who were otherwise troubled or flailing (typical teen stuff) and they loved working for him.  He was an amazingly unpretentious guy.”

Asked for comment, Weintraub recalled, “We met in college at University of Virginia in 1961, re-connected in the early seventies in Washington, DC,  and were co-owners of Frager’s since 1975. No plans have been made yet for a service. He was great to work with and a giving person. Customers and staff loved him.”

There will be no formal funeral, but a memorial service will be held in a couple of weeks, according to sources.  Details will be forthcoming.

For the 2012 Hill Rag’s story on Copenhaver’s 2012 retirement and photos, go here:


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7 responses to “Former Long-time Frager’s Co-owner Ed Copenhaver Dies

  1. Fragers is a great business! Rest easy.

  2. C Plume

    He was a lovely man with a happy humor. He would often greet me (and my dog) with, “OK! What’s our project today!?”.

  3. Jim Myers

    This is very sad. He was a wonderful, generous spirit in the community

  4. Carl Nash

    I have very fond memories of Ed who was always helpful and funny. He and John definitely complemented each other — probably also in ways only known to them. I was sad that he retired from the business, but pleased to see him occasionally helping in the store, just as Mr. Frager had in the years he had after selling the shop to John and Ed.
    Long live Fragers as an important Capitol Hill institution. We look forward to its return to its proper location in the community.

  5. Bobbi Krengel

    I loved to tease Ed by telling him that I tell everybody that they have personal shoppers at Frager’s. Because they do. Forget google and youtube–just go into Frager’s with a problem or an idea, and wait for somebody to offer to help you, and they will brainstorm with you and tell you everything you need to know and gather up the materials with you. Ed always winced, but he knew it was true, set by his own example in the spirit of the highest levels of service. I’m not a bit surprised to read here how much he valued listening. I hope many of us will be inspired by his spirit. With deepest sympathy to Sharon and the entire Frager’s family–Bobbi Krengel

  6. Christine

    Ed was one of the nicest men in the world. Exceedingly generous and supportive of my neighborhood clean up efforts.

  7. Jack Colhoun

    In addition to his role at Frager’s, Ed was a great neighbor and supporter of Hill East causes. He will be missed.