Mr. James Charles Trotter Sr., 88, of South Bend, Indiana, passed away on Friday, August 14, 2020 at his home. He was born on March 21, 1932 in Washington, Arkansas to the union of late Levie Trotter and Ruby (Cheaton) Trotter.
He received his education in Arkansas and went on to join the military. After completing his Tour of Duty in the United States Army, Mr. Trotter relocated to South Bend and secured employment at the former Studebaker Corporation and then Cummings. He later went on to sell preowned cars after which he entered in to the real estate industry. Mr. Trotter always wanted more for his family and in 1968 he opened his own restaurant. The restaurant, named after his late wife Frankie Trotter, is Frankie’s BBQ. Affectionately known as “The Circle” the business continues to thrive today under the dedicated leadership of his son. Mr. Trotter was among the first African American business owners in South Bend. Although retired he often visited the restaurant checking things out and talking with customers. He was the personal marketing representative for Frankie’s as everywhere he went he asked people “have you ever had any Frankie’s?” This always generated a new and dedicated customer. Frankie’s BBQ received numerous awards over the past 50 years the most recent being South Bend’s African American Black History Achievement Award in 2019.
In 1995 he rededicated his life to Christ and under the leadership of Pastor Steve Sumrall he joined Christ Chapel Church and served on the Usher Board.
Mr. Trotter leaves to cherish his memory his wife Roxanne Trotter; seven children, James Charles Trotter Jr., Felecia Trotter, Viveca Trotter, Christopher (Sydney)Trotter, Sean (Jay) Trotter, Terrence (Christina) Trotter and Tanika Trotter, all of South Bend; 23 grandchildren; 48 great grandchildren; and 10 great great grandchildren; 1 great-great-great grandchild; 5 siblings Carmon (Rosie) Trotter of Phoenix, Arizona, Levi (Betty) Trotter of South Bend; Willie Ruth (Henry) McFadden of Texarkana, Arkansas, Steven Trotter and Sandra trotter both of Kansas City, Missouri along with a host of other relatives and friends.
Along with his parents and late wife, he was also preceded in death by one brother, Edward Trotter; 3 sisters, Thelma Lindsey, Madie Trotter and Norline Jones; a great granddaughter, Bre’Andin J. Trotter and his dog, Buddy.
Mr. Trotter enjoyed playing his numbers and making morning breakfast runs to Burger King along with his late four legged sidekick, Buddy. More than anything, Mr. Trotter loved spending time with his family. He was a soft spoken and gentle giant. He was kind to everyone and always sported a warm and sincere smile. He was dearly loved by his family and his church family as well. He will be dearly missed by all who loved and knew him.
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