February 20th, 2005

Deacon Irwin John Frost DDS (1919-2005)

This is the obituary for my maternal Grandfather, who died suddenly this past Thursday. He had been poor condition, but was stable, and in some ways was getting better. I last saw him in June.

Deacon Irwin John Frost, DDS, 85, of Waterloo, died Thursday, Feb. 17, at his home.

He was born Aug. 27, 1919, in a farm house in Walworth County, S.D., to Frank J. and Armella Schwind Frost. He graduated from St. Anthony’s Elementary School, Hoven, S.D. He then graduated from St. Mary’s High School, Cascade. He attended Loras College, Dubuque, for three years, being junior class president. He graduated from the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, July 1943. He entered service of the Dental Corps attached to the Air Force, and served over three years on active duty, being discharged as a Captain. He married Rita E. Otting, May 9, 1944, in St. Mary’s Church, Cascade, with his brother, the late Fr. Ed Frost presiding. He practiced dentistry in Waterloo from September 1946 until retirement in September 1982.

He was president of St. Edward’s Holy Name Society, plus other offices. He was chairman of the Committee for Cub Scouts at St. Edward’s for six years. He held offices in the local and district dental societies, and served on the Delta Dental Insurance Board of Trustees for 10 years. He was on the board of trustees for Columbus High School, helping in numerous fund raisers for Columbus. Also was chairperson to organize the Columbus Booster Club, and was a charter member of the Columbus C150 Club. Along with his wife Rita, they were inducted into the Columbus Hall of Fame.

He helped with the community meal at St. Nicholas in Evansdale once or twice a month for more than 10 years. He served as a Eucharistic minister for the home bound, and also was a member of the first parish council at St. Edward’s. He helped in the fund drive for the St. Francis Hospital. He was ordained as a permanent Deacon by the late Archbishop J.J. Byrnes in the first class for the Archdiocese in 1978. He was spiritual director for the metro St. Vincent de Paul Society. He had been the spiritual director for St. Edward’s Legion of Mary for eight years. He was the first person to conduct Sunday communion service in a care center in the Archdiocese and did so at Parkview Care Center for 20 years. He was Eucharistic minister to the Catholics at the Americana Health Care Center for 22 years. He was on the Diaconate Formation Board for a continuous 15 years. He served on the Archdiocesan Educational Development Fund Board for five years.

He felt honored when in his dental practice, he was able to serve the very many religious (priests and sisters) for so many years. He baptized over 500 babies, and taught the pre-baptism class for parents for 15 years. He helped organize the Waterloo Sierra Club, is a charter member and also on the board of trustees. He was proud to have been a pall bearer of the late Archbishop J.J. Byrne. He was inducted into the Loras College Hall of Fame in 1996.

His survivors include his wife; seven sons, David Frost of Waterloo, Edward (Francoise) Frost of Bent Mountain, Va., Michael (Molly) Frost of Westfield, Mass., Mark Frost of Broken Arrow, Okla., Robert (Jane) Frost of Waterloo, Paul (Jana) Frost of Beatrice, Neb., and Ted (Joan) Frost of Austin, Texas; seven daughters, Mary Ann (Jay) Paulukonis of Dalton, Pa., Carolyn (David) Thogerson of Ames, Sue (Louis) Fettkether of Waterloo, Nancy (Don) Bellmont of St. Cloud, Minn., Beth (Dan) Markowitz of Overland Park, Kan., Julie (Clayton) Thomas of Waterloo and Lori (Sanjay) Shah of Cedar Rapids; 32 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; one brother, Fred (Dorothy) Frost of Watertown, S.D.; and two sisters, Pauline Bertha of Wichita, Kan., and Mary Joan Michaels of Kiel, Wis.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, the Rev. Edward Frost and Vernon Frost; two sisters, Jeanette and Robert Gabrielson, and Armella Frost; and brother-in-law, Steve Bertha.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, with entombment in Mount Olivet Mausoleum. Full military rites will be performed at the cemetery by American Legion Post 138 and the VFW Post 1623. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the church, where there will be a 4 p.m. rosary service, a 6 p.m. rosary service by the Knights of Columbus and a vigil service at 7 p.m. Friends may also call one hour prior to services at the church on Monday.

Memorials may be given to Columbus High School or The Alzheimer’s Association. Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup Funeral Service on South Street is in charge of arrangements.

He’s On His Way

1 comment(s)

  1. comment by Mary Ann Frost Paulukonis on Sunday, Mar 6th, 2005 12:12 pm

    I have so many memories of my father. I’ll pull out a few that weren’t mentioned by others during the funeral rites.
    • Among my earliest memories is of Dad and Mom picking strawberries in the garden at 226 Cutler St. When I was a very little girl I got ill during some holiday. During dinner, with company present, my leg fell asleep and I began to cry. Daddy picked me up and carried me to the davenport. When I was five, Daddy took me downtown in a 40s era car each morning for kindergarten at Sacred Heart. I have dim memories of his second-floor dental office with Dr. Boatman, remember the move to his own office off 4th St., and the excitement of building the new building on South St.
    • I can picture Dad pleased as punch each time he got a new car. I remember a trip in the 50s when he pulled out to pass from the middle of a long line of cars backed up behind a slow oil tanker on an upgrade, and a car near the front of the line pulled into us without looking. Once on the way home from a Minnesota vacation the back left tire blew on the green station wagon; I (who was sitting over that tire) startled awake and cried out, adding to the confusion; Dad managed to control the car, pulled over, and changed the tire while Mom supervised us kids in the ditch. Life could be exciting! And I loved the first real vacations, to Dell’s Spruce Lodges in Waterville, Minnesota.
    • A really long time ago Dad, Mom, and Melie used German phrases when they didn’t want us kids to understand. One spring they conspired about a trip to Chicago and used code to keep the secret that Carolyn and I were going along–and what a wonderful time we had. The three of them used to merrily share stories when we kids begged to hear about “the olden days.”
    • Occasionally Dad would bring home treats from Webekings’ Bakery: elephant ears and a wonderful chewy molasses-flavored fruit bar. On Sundays (every Sunday?) he cooked breakfast, usually preparing eggs of various styles including baked. I remember his creating peanut butter concoctions with honey, butter, and molasses.
    • When did he have the time for all those parish and community projects listed in his obituary? I remember him at home in the evening and on Sunday (he worked at least Saturday mornings), busy in the “tool room” or in the yard, and later at The Pond. We went for Sunday rides, spring day-trips, fishing excursions. I remember visiting Uncle Pete and Otting relatives in Cascade, Farley, and Monticello, and spending time with Fr. Ed at a couple parish postings before Independence.
    • Dad and Mom visited me every year wherever I lived: Rochester, Cleveland, Chicago, South Dakota, Pennsylvania. I think the DE originated with a letter he wrote me after he and Mom got home from taking me to Cleveland. He expressed his confidence in me and added that if things didn’t work out I was always welcome home. Gradually more children were added to the heading until he shortened the line to “Dear Everyone” and then to DE. Mom & Dad also helped Jay and me move into our first house and the following spring Dad re-strung the awful clotheslines. There was always something for him to fix when he came to visit.
    • Long-distance calls were expensive when I grew up, so weekly calls home were revolutionary for me in the last decade. Usually I thought of things to talk about (and learned to talk sports) but our last phone conversation was different. Dad had been writing letters to update people on Mom and his own health. He was pleased that he had found the Frost Baptismal gown (with my ever asking about it) and he told me what he and AnnMarie needed to do for Maggie’s baptism. Then he asked me how my amaryllis were doing and gave me some further advice. The conversation was distinctive and I am grateful for it.

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