Saturday, January 16, 2016

Kay Don Frost 1934 - 2016

Kay Don Frost was born on December 30, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Donald Ernest Frost and Elizabeth B. Hixson.  He and his family moved to Wyoming and back to Utah for a short time. They settled in Glendale, California where he grew up and attended High School.

After high school graduation in 1953, he attended Glendale Community College for a year. He then went on to serve a two and a half year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the East German Mission from September 1955 to April 1958.

Upon his return he attended Brigham Young University where he met his sweetheart, Lois Adele Reid. He graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Commercial Art. Kay and Lois where married in the St. George, Utah Temple on July 1st, 1961. They moved to Kay’s hometown in Glendale where their first son, Robert, arrived July 1962.

Kay took a job working for Standard Register as a time and system analyst. Kay and Lois continued to grow their family adding their son, Kenneth and daughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca. During this time he worked as a Boy Scouts of America leader, served in a bishopric and various church positions, and developed his wood working talent.  He pursued his career in the oil construction business as he worked at CF Braun, Aramco, and ending his career at Jacobs Engineering. While working for Aramco, Kay and his family lived in Saudi Arabia from 1981-1984.

After retirement in 2001 he worked as a specialist in the family history center and spent many hours compiling family histories. Kay and Lois served as ordinance workers at the Los Angeles Temple for eleven years and missionaries at the Glendale College Institute for two years. He also served in the Stake Presidency. He mastered his skills in Adobe Photoshop, restoring family photos and taking creative liberties such as adding a different team shirt or changing the location. Kay was not only “Grandpa” to 12 grandchildren but to all that knew him.

Kay and Lois moved from their home of almost 50 years in Glendale to Mesa, Arizona in April of 2015 and in July he officially became “great” with the birth of a great-grandchild. Kay Frost passed from mortality on January 14, 2016 in Mesa, two weeks after his 81st birthday

                                                      KAY DON FROST EULOGY
      I am so honored and grateful to be here and to have this opportunity to review with you the life of this remarkable man.  As I look over this congregation I believe I knew him longer than anyone here.  He was my friend, my example, my tutor, my confidant, my spiritual advisor, and my big brother.
      Kay Don Frost was born on December 30, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah and passed away on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at the age of 81.  He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lois, his four children, 12 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
      Kay’s father, Don, was born and raised in Coalville, Utah and his mother, Beth, in Wanship, Utah.  They met at North Summit High School but really didn’t have any interest in each other until each had returned from their mission.  They always told us they got married because, by the time they got home, they were the only two of their group who weren’t married.  They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on August 16, 1933 and Kay arrived on Sunday, December 30, 1934 in the depths of the Great Depression. 
      The young couple had a difficult time deciding on a name for their new son.  He was the first grandchild on both sides of the family so they wanted to be careful not to favor or offend anyone.  Mom was adamant that there would be no juniors in the house and they agreed not to name him after Dad or any family member, but every name Mom suggested was vetoed by Dad.  A month later they made the trip to Coalville to have him blessed, but they still didn’t have a name.  As they were filling out the paperwork with the ward clerk, Dad finally admitted he wanted the boy named after him but Mom stuck with her “no juniors” rule so quick negotiations resulted in the decision that his middle name would be Don.  Now they needed a first name and it had to come from Mom’s family.  It was finally decided to give him just the initial K for a first name, to stand for Mom’s father Karl, without actually naming him Karl.  But the bishop, Dad’s uncle, Charles Frost, said the church frowned on giving initials as names because it was confusing for genealogy work.  There was no more time to negotiate so they decided to just spell it out, K-A-Y which was the masculine spelling of the name with K-A-Y-E being the feminine spelling.  The name proved problematic throughout his life, so many of you know him as Kay, many know him as Don, and many know him as Kay Don.  His dad called him Jack until he was about 15 years old.
      The young family lived in a small apartment above the gas station which Dad managed in the Sugar House section of Salt Lake City.  When he was just learning to crawl Kay pulled some books out a bookcase and his father swatted his bottom.  His mother chastised his father and Kay said he was never spanked or physically punished again.  My experience was the exact opposite.  When I pulled books out of the bookcases in the living room, those same two people would take turns spanking me until they grew tired and then I would go right back and pull more books from the shelves.
      When Kay was about 1, Dad bought a defunct tool distribution company and traveled all over Utah and bordering states trying to sell the tools.  Kay and his mother lived with her parents on the farm near Wanship.
      It was the Depression and no one had money for tools, so the business soon failed but Dad found work as an auto mechanic in Lyman, Wyoming.  He injured his knee at work and while he was recuperating his job was given to another man.  Dad joined a dance band and worked odd jobs to keep food on the table until he landed a job as truck driver which took the family to Evanston, Wyoming and then to Medicine Bow, Wyoming.  They lived in the back of a deserted general store while Dad drove long-distance gasoline tankers.
      When Kay was 5 they moved to Wanship where Dad ran the gas station and Mom ran a little café next door. Their house had no indoor plumbing and the cooking and heating was done by a coal burning stove.  Because of their circumstances Kay spent a lot of time on his grandparents’ farm and he could remember many things that happened there.  He developed a strong bond with his Grandpa Hixson which none of the rest of us grandchildren ever had.  
      Mom and Dad both worked very long, hard hours but could not get ahead and eventually found themselves $2,000 in debt.  So they decided to give up the businesses in Wanship.  Kay and Mom once again moved in with her parents while Dad went to BYU to get a teaching certificate so he could teach shop in Eli, Nevada.  But while he was at BYU, Lockheed Aircraft came to campus to recruit craftsmen to work at their plant in Burbank, California.
      The story as I heard it was that Dad called Mom to tell her he had a job in California and she said, Doing what?
Welding, he told her.  She responded, You don’t know how to weld.  To which he replied, How hard could it be?
      He arrived in California on Memorial Day, 1941 in their 1933 Chevrolet sedan.  He actually went to work as a flight line mechanic at 65 cents an hour, the largest wage he had ever earned.  A few weeks later, Kay and Mom took the train to Glendale, arriving on the 4th of July.  That was Kay’s first train ride. 
      On December 7 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor which brought the United States fully into World War II and the demand for welders grew.  Dad took some training and became a welder on P-38 fighter planes for the rest of the war.  Kay could easily recall many war experiences including blackouts, air raid sirens, food rationing, newsreels at the movies giving updates on the war, and news about the holocaust when the death camps were liberated.
      The family first rented a house in Sunland, California but it was quite isolated and Mom’s health was not good so they moved into an apartment on Doran Avenue in Glendale, across the street from Columbus Elementary School where Kay attended first grade.  In the summer of 1942 they moved to a rented house at 227 W. Dryden, across the street from Eugene Field Elementary.  At one point they bought the house, then later sold it and then bought it back again; all without ever moving out.  While living there they had two more sons: me in 1945 and David in 1951.  They stayed in that house until 1963 when they sold and moved to Fullerton.
      Kay was always the handy one.  So much so that as I grew up I was discouraged from trying anything that required working with tools.  Many times, as I struggled to make something I would hear the familiar refrain, Just let Kay do it.  When the family lived in Sunland he received a small hammer and a saw from his dad.  Produce was transported in wooden crates in those days and the used crates were discarded.  They became his lumber yard and at the age of 6 he built a non-functioning clock.  He hadn’t been to school yet and didn’t know how to read or write but he copied the numbers from the kitchen clock onto his toy clock.  This was the first of thousands of projects he completed in his lifetime.  His work was always meticulous and precise but the rest of us often grew impatient because he rarely seemed motivated to complete a project by any particular time.  It had to right and he wouldn’t cut corners just to get it done.
      Another of his early projects was a badge he made for me.  When Mom went shopping Kay was assigned to stand by my stroller and watch me.  I had long curly hair and many women would ask Kay if I was his sister.  He grew so tired of the question, he made a little wooden badge which read, I’M A BOY!
      The house on Dryden had a detached garage and Dad built a workshop on the back of it, also using discarded produce crates.  We had two lathes, a grinder, a drill press, a band saw and table saw and every hand tool I could ever imagine.  Kay’s love of woodworking was nurtured in that workshop.

      Kay attended Eugene Field Elementary, Eleanor Toll Junior High and then Herbert Hoover High School where he played football.  I later attended the same schools and, although I was almost 11 years younger than he was, I was constantly running into teachers and administrators who remembered him fondly.  When I entered 10th grade at Hoover my geometry teacher was a lady named Miss Merle Helen McGrath.  Miss by choice, not necessity, she would declare.  Years later Kay and I were reminiscing and he told me that Miss McGrath was the first teacher he had ever had who believed in him and told him he could be a success.  He got quite emotional as he recalled the experience.  He had missed kindergarten because they did not have one in Wanship.  And he learned to read at a time they were trying out an experimental system under which the students didn’t learn to sound out words, so he often struggled with a word if he hadn’t seen it before.  He told me it was Miss McGrath who planted in him the belief and confidence that he could go to college and even be an engineer.
      Scouting was an important part of our family.  I can remember many family vacations in the early 50’s spent camping with Troop 26 because Dad was the scoutmaster.  Kay achieved the rank of Life Scout and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow.   In 1947 Kay and Dad participated in the centennial Days of ’47 encampment in Salt Lake City and in 1950 they went to the National Jamboree held at Valley Forge.
      By the time Kay graduated from high school, Dad had become a machinist at Lockheed and Kay decided he wanted to work in a machine shop too.  That meant he didn’t need a college education but it took only a short time of real-life work for him to change his mind.  He attended Glendale Community College for a year before his mission.
      At the end of 1954 he turned 20 and was old enough to serve a mission but because of the Korean War and its aftermath, the Church had been forced to limit the number of missionaries called.  The West Ward could only send two missionaries a year as I remember, and it had already used its quota for 1955.  But the quota was unexpectedly removed and Kay submitted his papers.  He was called to serve in the East German Mission where his father had served in the early 1930s.  While he was serving the name of the mission was changed to North German.
      He had many wonderful experiences as a missionary in Germany.  This was only 10 years after World War II had ended and the country and the Church were still recovering.  He served in Hamelin where the legendary Pied Piper had lived.  He served as a branch president.  Kay had his first experience in giving a blessing to a person who was ill and he described it like having power drain out of him as he gave the blessing.  His patriarchal blessing had declared this as his spiritual gift and it manifest itself as he served his mission and throughout the remainder of his life.  He was often called upon to give such blessings. 
      In April of 1958 he returned from Germany.  I was now in junior high and David was in the second grade at Eugene Field Elementary.  When Dad brought Kay to the house on Dryden, David was having recess and was in the school yard across the street.  Dad and Kay walked over to the fence and Dad called David over.  Do you know who this is? Dad asked David.  David had no idea who the stranger was.  He was only 4 when Kay left.
      While he was gone the music on the radio had shifted from pop and jazz to rock and roll.  I remember introducing him to Blue Suede Shoes and Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley.  We would sit at the kitchen table and sing Dream by the Everly Brothers a capella with me singing the melody and him singing harmony.  He still preferred jazz and tried to convince me rock and roll wouldn’t last.
      Kay went to BYU to pursue his engineering degree but eventually he hit the “math wall” that lots of engineering students encounter.  He decided to change his major and so he graduated with a degree in Commercial Art.  After graduation he took some classes at Art Center School in Los Angeles.
      As graduation drew near Kay brought a young women home to meet the family; Lois Adele Reid from Las Vegas.  They were sealed in the St. George Temple on July 1, 1961 and moved into an apartment on Adams Street in Glendale.  They were joined by their first son, Robert in 1962 and a year later they moved twice ending up in their apartment on Central Avenue next to the meetinghouse.  My girlfriend and I often volunteered to babysit Robert while they were in that apartment.  Kenny joined the family there in 1965.  In 1968 the family moved into their home on Idlewood Road and Liz was born later that year.  Becky completed the family in 1973.
      Kay had tried to find a position in the commercial art field but was not successful.  As his wedding approached he needed employment so he took a job at Standard Register, a business forms printer in Glendale, as a time and system analyst which led him to the field of industrial engineering.  For 40 years or so he worked in the oil construction industry for several engineering outfits.  He had become an engineer after all.  One of those outfits was Aramco which took him to Saudi Arabia in 1981.  For the first year Lois and the kids stayed home in Glendale but finally they were able to join him in Saudi from 1982 to 1984.  As Middle East tensions rose and the family situation changed, it was decided to go back home to Glendale.
      In the Church Kay served faithfully in whatever assignment he was given.  We served together on the ward council when I was elders quorum president and he was the seventies group leader / ward mission leader.  We sat next to each other in the ward choir.  One Sunday around 1976 we were sitting in the choir loft on the Sunday we all knew Bishop Valentine was going to be released and new bishopric sustained.  As we waited for the meeting to begin our conversation centered around who we thought might be called.  As the time arrived for the business to be conducted, the stake president announced that Stan McGuire would be the new bishop and Cecil Homer the First Counselor and that was not a great surprise to anyone but when he announced that the second counselor would be Kay Don Frost I must have had a look of complete shock because Kay could barely stop laughing at my expression.  He continued to serve faithfully in any and every calling from beloved nursery leader to stake executive secretary.   
      In 2002 he and Lois were called to be temple ordinance workers in the Los Angeles Temple.  They continued in that assignment until they moved to Arizona last year.  In 2012 they were called as church service missionaries to serve as assistant directors of the Glendale Institute of Religion at the Glendale Community College.  Just before they were released, Susan and I were called to the same mission service.  Our mission overlapped theirs by just a few months but for the two years we served we were known as the “other Frosts.” 
      Kay inherited his mother’s and his Grandpa Hixson’s love for family history.  Over the last several years he has written many personal histories of his ancestors including the latest of his Grandma Hixson.
      His mortal life spanned 8 decades; decades filled with much change and growth.  When he was born the total membership of the church was 730,000.  When he passed it was over 15 million.  When he went on a mission he was one of only 2,400 called that year.  Today we have more than 85,000 serving.  Born in the Depression, he spent his early years living in homes with no indoor plumbing, in rooms above gas stations, in the back of deserted stores, and on his grandparents’ farm.  He joined his parents as they ventured out from their rural upbringing to become part of the exploding growth of southern California.  He was one of the first in the family to get a college education.  He traveled the world but his home became the gathering place for family and friends and even strangers.  He was loved by little children and old people alike.  He loved his family.  He loved his church.  He loved people.  He loved to hug and express that love.  And he loved his Savior, in whose rest he now resides.  May we be as fortunate as he.  In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

PS: He got his degree in commercial art but could not find a job in that field so he took a job as a time and motion analyst for Standard Register, a business forms printer on Allen Avenue in Glendale, south of San Fernando Road.  He spent the rest of his career in that field as an industrial engineer.  He worked for C F Braun in Alhambra, Aramco in Saudi Arabia, and Jacobs Engineering in Pasadena. Toward the end of his career he was a project manager for a large water treatment plant in San Pedro, an oil spill clean up project in Avila Beach, CA, and a large project at Livermore Labs in northern CA.

P.S.  Woodworking was his major hobby besides family history.  He built or repaired hundreds of toys, furniture, etc. for family, friends and others. He loved working in the temple.


James Gardiner journal:

 April 26, 2003 to temple with Kay Don/Lois Frost with Garret Nickel driving.

April 7, 2004 Kay Don Frost took me to Dr Chu – says lens transplant word improve.

May 12, 2011
Wishing for a cure for those cancers that have touched the lives of your near and dear to me.

Facebook: December 30, 2011
I want to thank you all for your birthday wishes!!!!! Debbie thanks for being the perfect friend. Brandi I miss you!!! Ken thanks for bringing so much fun and happiness into my life. Linda thanks for your and Alan's great friendship. Jeanette thanks for just being you. You are awesome!!!! Rachel your friendship is one of those tender mercies the Lord has blessed me with. thanks!!! Denise your friendship lifts me up during those rare moments when I am feeling down. Teresa I love you and your family. My memories of Saudi Arabia still bring a smile and the strength to keep on trucking. John and Ruth you both have a very special spot in my heart, but John you need to redo the math. I will be 77 at 2:00 pm Salt Lake City time. Knute, the Lord has not blessed me with great wealth because he know I couldn't handle it but he has blessed me with firends and you are my treasure. And Steve, you are among my special friends at the temple - the ones who make working there such a delight. Thank you are for remembering a birthday that is often lost in that lull between Christmas and New Years.

Hoover High School, Glendale, CA

Beth and Don Frost

Kay Don and his family.


On The Town:

Residents take in concert at gardens

Glendale News Press: August 20, 2008 By RUTH SOWBY

    “Seasoned Seniors” gathered at the Glendale home of Kathy and Kent Lee on Aug. 11 to also celebrate a balmy midsummer night. Potluck trays of deli meats, breads, miniature cream puffs and fruit fed the 50 who enjoyed a garden dinner with fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    A recent reorganization of the ward (like a diocese) left some church members unacquainted with one another. The dinner was a chance for senior members to fellowship with one another.

    The all-Glendale crowd included Bishop Bob Weger, Marilyn and Gil Torgeson, Myrna and Don Hillquist, Carolyn and Gary Crane, Judy and Jon Ritchie, Linda and Matt Sheffield, Lois and Kay Don Frost, Annette and Edward Allison, Zelma and Jacob Zalet, June Alvord, Ralph Guarino, Zola Hawley, Nancy Kochi, John Rogers, Pauline Krokstrom and Shela Anderson, whose birthday was also celebrated.
    Kent Lee’s 18-year old niece, Mandie Smith, just in from New Mexico, will be living with the Lees while she majors in fashion merchandising at Pasadena City College starting in September.
    The “Seasoned Seniors” begin at age 50. They look forward to continuing their socializing with monthly get-togethers, including an October Fest in the fall.