INDIANAPOLIS – Fred Frost, a longtime observer for USAC and one of its original members since the club’s formation in 1956, passed away Jan. 13. He was 85 years old.
Frost and his wife, Veronica, have been mainstays on the USAC circuit for many years, as race fans first and foremost, but also taking on race day duties. Their friendly presence served as a welcome sight to drivers, teams and officials for the past several decades.
Frost was born in Youngstown, Ohio on Jan. 21, 1935 to Polish and Italian parents, but was adopted as an infant by Theodore and Esther Frost and raised in Warren, Ohio, for his first eight years.
After his parents’ divorce, Frost and his mother moved to Fairborn, Ohio, to live with Esther’s parents. Frost spent the rest of his life between Fairborn, Crystal Lake and Enon.
Thanks to the Hospice of Dayton and his wife Veronica’s determination, Fred was able to die at home, pain free and peaceful with his wife’s arms around him.
Frost trained as a millwright with Southwestern Portland Cement in Fairborn for 10 years but joined the exodus to General Motors in the 1960’s and worked at Frigidaire/Harrison Radiator/Harrison Thermal Products for the rest of his career as a millwright, retiring in 1997.
After retiring, Frost wanted to work in the substance abuse field but couldn’t be hired because he didn’t have a high school degree.
So, at age 62, Frost studied and successfully completed his GED. His high school class then gave him a “Generally Enlightened Degree” at their next reunion.
Frost and his first wife, Wynema, had four children. Wynema and two of the sons, Steve and John, predeceased Frost, and he is survived by a daughter Valarie Brickey, son-in-law Scott, son Jerry, seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
His second wife, Jane Taylor, lives in Medway with her current husband, Wayne.
In March of 1989, while on his way to an AA meeting, Frost got out of his 1989 silver Pontiac Grand Am, wearing a Goodyear racing tire hat and a woman got out of her 1989 silver Grand Am wearing a Hoosier Racing jacket.
He’d had a conversation with God a few months earlier, asking God to either “cut it off, make me a monk or bring me a healthy one.” He would then tell people that “God brought me one all the way from California!”
After discovering that Frost had as many stuffed animals as she did, Veronica and Frost married in January of 1990.
Frost was a much-loved member of Alcoholics Anonymous for nearly 42 years. He was known for being kind and always sharing thoughtfully.
One of his proudest accomplishments was carrying the AA message into the Clark and Greene County jails for 35 years. Frost regularly ran into people around town who remembered him and thanked him for having been a positive influence on their life.
An AA celebration of Frost’s life will be held in the summer.
One of Frost’s racing friends described Fred as “one of the kindest men he’d ever met and still a man’s man.” Veronica fell in love with his gentle soul and his childlike nature at times. He had a great sense of humor and Veronica was unable to tell whether he was joking or not at times for their entire marriage.
He stayed in touch with many friends from his past and, when they were informed of his death, they all talked about what a good man he was.
Frost had several passions, the primary one being open wheel auto racing. He attended his 75th consecutive Indianapolis 500 last August and it was the only one that he was not present at the track for, with no fans allowed due to COVID-19.
He was a track observer for 22 years and a proud member of the Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club, as is Veronica. Fred and Veronica were also observers for the United States Auto Club. Fred was a member of USAC from its initial formation in 1956.
Since he married a fellow race fan, they continued the tradition of chasing race cars and family all over the country, usually fitting in some time for archaeological or Native American sites (Veronica) and antique stores (Fred and Veronica).
Frost was a natural athlete and, having had a father who owned bowling alleys, became an excellent bowler. He maintained a 200 average, using a Black Beauty ball, into his mid-70’s when he retired due to a back problem.
He was a member of a championship team in 2005 at Victory Lanes.