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2009 July 14: Garrison Albert Frost

Garrison Albert Frost passed away this week at Little Company of Mary Hospital from complications due to heart disease. He was 73.

Frost owned Coast Drug Store in downtown Hermosa Beach from 1972 until the store closed in 1995. From behind his pharmaceutical counter, Frost maintained a broad social network and was one of downtown Hermosa Beach's most recognizable faces. His ownership of the business prompted him to get involved in local business issues and municipal politics - and his voice was consistently heard during the city's renovation of its downtown plaza and subsequent efforts to revitalize the commercial center's economy. He was a past president and active member of the Hermosa Beach Rotary Club.

After closing his own business, Frost continued to work part-time at SavOn Drugs until his retirement. Throughout his life in the South Bay, Frost was a passionate sailor, first racing with the Lido 14 fleet at King Harbor Yacht Club, where he was a longtime member. Later in life, he raced his Cal 25 at Long Beach Harbor and Redondo Beach Yacht Club. Sometimes he won races, but often he just sailed for the joy of being out on the water with his friends.

He continued to race his boat even after a series of health problems restricted him to a wheelchair in 2002. Even as his condition declined in recent weeks, he insisted on taking his boat out with his friends and challenging the fleet.

Frost was born in Oroville, Calif., in 1936, eventually moving to Los Angeles when his father, a physician, relocated the family to Bell. He always loved the water, and cherished the weekends of his youth at the old Pacific Coast Club in Long Beach. Later, his love of the beach and surfing would prompt him to raise his own family first in Manhattan Beach, then Hermosa Beach. Before his health problems slowed him down, he enjoyed a regular beach volleyball game on Friday mornings at Marine Avenue in Manhattan Beach. He was an active member of the American Martyrs Church Parish, sending all three of his children through its school and, for a time, singing in the church choir.

Frost is survived by his wife Helene - with whom he would have celebrated 50 years of marriage in August - daughters Suzanne and Caroline, and son Garrison. Services will be held at American Martyrs Church on Saturday, July 18, at 10 a.m. He will be buried at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be sent to the American Diabetes Association or the Mutual Amputee Aid Foundation.

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