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Published: Friday, 5/7/2004

Woman formed travel agency for Findlay auto club

FINDLAY - Helen G. Frost, who established the AAA Findlay Automobile Club's travel agency to help members plan travel itineraries and secure reservations, died Monday at Alterra Sterling House, an assisted-living facility. She was 102.

Family members did not know an exact cause of death.

Mrs. Frost was described as a take-charge person who had the requisite skills needed to successfully organize the travel agency, plus a variety of civic and social activities.

She joined the auto club in 1943 and, after four years, was chosen secretary/manager of the office, a position she held until her retirement in 1971.

The club's travel agency was set up by Mrs. Frost at her home on her own time in its early years, when accreditations had to be established with each airline, cruise line, and travel wholesaler with whom the club wanted to do business.

Besides that, she also helped oversee the sale of vehicle license plates when the club offered that service. "What a big job that was," Pam Cline, her granddaughter, said. "She ran a pretty strict office, but she kept it running smoothly."

Mrs. Frost was a former president of Altrusa, the women's division of the Chamber of Commerce and now called the Heritage Conservation League.

Altrusa hosted a speakers program and worked to promote literacy and offer educational scholarships.

"She always had a program that was informative and cutting edge in areas of business which we might not be aware of," Lynda Niswander, a member of Altrusa, said. "She just knew everybody and had so many contacts through the auto club.

"She instilled confidence in people. We learned so much from being associated with her."

Born in Hancock County's Washington Township, she was one of nine graduates from Arcadia High School in 1919. She attended Bliss College, a business and secretarial school in Columbus, graduating in 1920.

She worked for the former Glessner Medicine Co., Chamberlin Target Co., and Visible Pump Co. before she was hired by the auto club.

As a young woman, Mrs. Frost organized a half dozen friends into a group to enjoy weekend leisure. They called themselves the Wild Ornery Women, her granddaughter said.

They had picnics at Riverside Park, the site that inspired the song "Down by the Old Mill Stream," dressing in long coats, some made of fur, and wearing lace-up boots.

"You can't imagine them doing this because they were so prim and proper," her granddaughter said.

Acquaintances introduced her to her future husband, Walter Frost, and the two were married in 1924. He died in 1978.

Mrs. Frost was a member of the Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center Auxiliary and a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

Surviving is a granddaughter, three step-grandchildren; a great-granddaughter, four step-great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild.

Services will be at 2 p.m. today in the Coldren-Crates Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.



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