Catherine A. Fraser, 97, longtime owner and operator of Cass's Pretzels at the now defunct Pennsauken Mart, died Monday, Dec. 9, at her home in Riverton.

Mrs. Fraser was born in South Philadelphia in the 2300 block of South Hutchinson Street and attended public schools in the city.

The former Catherine "Cass" Brennan married Donald Fraser in her early 20s and had two sons and a daughter.

"She always considered herself a South Philadelphian," said Dan McKenna, who married Mrs. Fraser's daughter, Sandra.

While her husband served as a Philadelphia firefighter, Mrs. Fraser worked as a waitress at various area locations of the Linton's restaurant chain over about 35 years.

After Mr. Fraser's retirement from the Fire Department in the early 1960s, the couple opened Cass's Pretzels at the Pennsauken Mart and operated it with their sons for 41 years.

"Her shop was one of the main draws to the Pennsauken Mart because of the quality of the pretzel," said Kerry Yobb, former president of the Pennsauken Mart Merchants' Association.

"You always saw people walking around the Mart with a pretzel in hand, and when [the Frasers] took vacations in the summer, you'd see less people in the Mart," Yobb said.

The Mart closed about eight years ago, but the Fraser family reestablished their business as Cass's Mart Pretzel Bakery on Route 130 in Cinnaminson. It was operated by Mrs. Fraser's sons and now by her grandchildren, McKenna said.

In addition to her daughter, M. Sandra McKenna, Mrs. Fraser is survived by her sons, Donald Jr. and James; three grandchildren, Shaughnessy, Sandra, and Maggie; one great-grandchild, Shae Lynn; and many nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by her husband, Donald; a brother, Robert Brennan; sister Anna Van Coillie; and two grandchildren, Francis and Katie.

A life celebration will be held from 9:30 to 10:20 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at Sacred Heart Church, Fourth Street and Linden Avenue, Riverton. It will be followed at 10:30 a.m. by a funeral Mass. Entombment will be in Lakeview Memorial Park, Route 130 North, in Cinnaminson.

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