Welcome to Alvin and Jean Frost’s site. My name is Teresa Frost Hale, the fifth child of William Alvin and Emily Jean Reed Frost. This website is my very humble way of saying thank you to them and to celebrate their lives and how much they mean to me and my five sisters.
Alvin Frost was born on September 26, 1927. Jean Reed Frost was born on August 22, 1929. They met when my father saw my mother singing "Kneel at the Cross" during a church service. It was during that song that Daddy knew Mom would someday be his wife. On Christmas of 1943 my dad proposed to my mom, and on August 13, 1944, they were married - just a few days before Momma's 15th birthday. Daddy turned 17 a few months later. Fourteen months after they were married, their first baby girl, Brenda, was born. My mother was 16, my father was 18. Through the years, five more babies came along, all girls! By the time Mom was 29, she had given birth to six daughters. My dad always wanted a son, but he's always said when he had enough girls to field a basketball team, it was time to quit! (In those days, girl's basketball was played 3 on 3, on both ends of the court.)
We had an ideallic life growing up. Dad worked and Mom stayed at home, with an exception of a few years when she had to take a job to make ends meet. My dad worked very hard and took on all the extra jobs he could to raise us, and my mom kept a spotless house, hand-sewed all of our clothes, and cooked breakfast and supper every day. She was, and still is, the best cook in the world. Her dressing is still the favorite dish on Thanksgiving and Christmas, for what is now a family of 58, and still growing. We all had chores around the house, always obeyed (for the most part!), and made very good grades all through school. If we got out of line, we were paddled. When we were small, every day when my dad came home from work, he would bring us two-cent Dum-Dum suckers. To us, that was the greatest treat in the whole world. We anxiously awaited his arrival every day so we could retrieve our Dum-Dums from his lunch box.
My favorite memories are playing outside in the yard, with the smell of freshly-mowed grass that Dad always kept neatly cropped and the smell of Momma cooking fried chicken for supper. We would have chicken and gravy with mashed potatoes one night, pork chops and gravy the next, and of course, pinto beans and stewed potatoes, which was always my favorite. Momma made homemade biscuits every meal that were the best biscuits you've ever put in your mouth. We would butter three or four and line them up around our plates for dessert! We would put Momma's homemade grape jelly on them and it was better than anything Sara Lee could ever bake up!
After supper, we would all go outside and play until dark. We played basketball, softball, volleyball, badminton, croquet, and anything else we could think of to play. We always loved to ride our bicycles and also would play hide & seek. Mom and Dad started their family in Eagleville, but moved to Rockvale when I was 5. Both places were wonderful communities to raise a family. We never even had to lock our doors!
There are so many wonderful memories, I cannot even begin to share them all. Mom and Dad - thank you for every one of them. Thank you for always taking us to church and thank you, Mom, for years and years of prayers. Thank you both for working so hard and stressing to us to be the best people we could possibly be. You are both one in a million. Your legacy will be carried on for many years to come...probably forever. I thank God every day for you both and for blessing me with such a wonderful family. May you both be blessed with many, many more years.
We love you, Mom and Dad! You are the greatest!!!!
On July 2, 2008, my mom, Jean Frost, suffered a major stroke. The doctors gave her a 20% chance of survival. All praises be to God that she is still alive! She spent 3 weeks in ICU in our local hospital, 5 weeks in a specialty hospital in Nashville, and is now into her fifth week in rehab in our hometown. After many set backs we are hopeful and prayerful that we can bring her home for the holidays. She still has her speaking ability and she can still carry on a conversation about what she wants to cook when she gets to come home. She is paralyzed on her left side, but thank God she is right handed. To everyone who comes across this website, please keep our wonderful, precious Mother in your prayers. God is good, and we look forward to many more improvements in Mom's condition.
On October 16 we got to bring Mama back home. What a joyous and happy day that was! She is still bed-ridden but Judy, Debbie, Terri, and Pam have chosen to take care of her at home. We all trained with the nurses and staff at the last facility Mom was at and we are becoming remarkably good at care-giving! It is a big responsibility, but the results are so rewarding! Mom is much happier and Dad is eating and sleeping again now that Mom is at home with him. We take 24 hour shifts, from 9:00 in the morning until 9:00 the next morning, and we do that every 4 days. We have a physical therapist coming to the house 3 times a week and Mom is slowly but surely making progress. Last week the therapist actually helped Mom to stand up by holding onto her kitchen sink counter. We also got to take her outside in her wheel chair to sit on the front porch. Thank you for your prayers and all thanks to our Heavenly Father for answering them! We look forward to a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
You are My Sunshine / Angel Whaley (Granddaughter)
Nanny and Granddaddy, I love you guys so much. I appreciate all the love you have shown me and Chloe. Nanny, I have done some silly things in my life and you have always loved me no matter what. You will never know how much that means to me and warms...
What can I say? / Emily Beth Pearson (Grandaughter)
Nanny and Grandaddy- First I want to thank you for being such an incredible example to me and to the family. Where would this hilarious family come from if it was not for you two having all these wonderful, Godly women that are in my life and t...
With much, much love... / Mandy Hale (Granddaughter)
The task of putting my love for you two into words is more than a little daunting...but I do want to say, in my own simple way...thank you, from the bottom of my heart. It was a few words from Nanny, scrawled in a greeting card, that gave me the...
God bless Mama, Daddy, Brenda, Judy, Rita, Debbie, Terri, Pam, and Rose* / Judy Whaley (Daughter)
This was the prayer every night before we all went off to sleep and God has answered our prayers. We are blessed beyond measure. Growing up as one of the daughters was an awesome experience. We were all so close and still are and we all still have ea...
You have given us a lifetime of memories ...... / Debbie Brooks (Daughter)
You have given us a lifetime of memories ....You have taken us (6 little girls) from rags to riches....from sleeping in a studebaker car on vacation in the Smokies to flying to the Bahamas in our own airplane....from a house with an "...
Greatest Parents in the World! / Terri Hale (Daughter)Read >>
Article about Nanny & Grandaddy in the "Eagleville Times" By: Rita Frost Lynch
Citizen of the Month
Alvin & Jean Frost By Rita Frost Lynch
On August 13, Alvin Frost and Emily Jean (Reed) Frost celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Sixty years ago, Alvin and Jan, along with tow of their best friends, Alvin Pate and Margaret Redmond, eloped to be married. Both of these unions have lasted all these years! Alvin is the son of the late Roscoe and Nan Frost, and Jean is the daughter of the late Mamie (Lane) Reed Davis and stepfather, Tom Davis. Her father was the late Jesse Reed.
Daughters of Alvin and Jean planned the event which took place at Kingdom Ministries in Walter Hill, one of the few places spacious enough to accommodate this very large (and still growing) family! Daughters are: Brenda Woodson, Judy Whaley, Rita Lynch, Debbie Brooks, Terri Hale and Pamela Brickey. In addition to their six daughters, were sons-in-laws, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Also present were Alvin’s brothers and their wives, along with his sister. They were Mr. and Mrs. Don Frost and Donna, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Frost, John and Isaac Frost, Jan Toombs and Nancy Scott.
A delicious candlelight dinner was catered by Peggy Pinkston and Company. After dinner, as a special treat to their parents, the daughters and all their families had prepared a video, shown on a giant screen, where every family member shared good wishes and fond memories of life in this very special family. There were memories with giggles, and some with tears, but all made for a wonderful evening for Alvin and Jean Frost. Poems were read that family members had written and songs were sung. It had been many tears ago, that Brenda, Judy, Rita, Debbie, Terri and Pam had all sung together, but they did that night. They sang songs they had sung at All Day Singings and Dinner on the Ground Homecomings, and also in the Eagleville Baptist Church, during their childhood, such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Feeling Mighty Fine.”
The family began with its roots in Eagleville. On August 13, 1944, Alvin Frost, then not quite 17, asked Emily Jean Reed, not quite 15, to be his wife. There was never any doubt where they would live and rear a family. The first house they owned was a brand-new on in a then new subdivision, know as “NewTown.” I cannot think of a better place to have spent a childhood than in Eagleville, Tennessee. Looking back, it was as near perfect as a childhood could be! Our parents participated in our lives and in the community. Daddy was Sunday School Superintendent at Eagleville Baptist Church, and Mama helped with the Sunbeams, taught during Vacation Bible School, and served as our room mother at Eagleville School whenever she could. I remember her and my Aunt Geneva bringing cupcakes and cookies to our classrooms on special occasions. Our grandmother, Mama Nan and grandfather, Daddy Ros, Daddy, and most of us girls all sang in the church choir. Many Sundays we (five of us, and later six) paraded to the front of the church in our little frilly dresses our Mother had made, all just alike, and sang songs in harmony that Daddy had taught us. No doubt, our little patent leather shoes were shined with a left-over biscuit from Sunday morning breakfast, our cans-cans were starched, and we were clean behind the ears! But, woe to any of us if we misbehaved during church! If we ever got that “look” from Daddy, we knew we would be in trouble when we got home.
Eagleville Baptist Church was such a big part of our lives. We had wonderful Sunday School teachers, and Vacation Bible Schools. My sister and I surely can still recite Bible verses that we memorized during that time. Some Sunday School teachers I can remember who made an impression us are Alma Hazel, Mama Nan, Ailene McCall, Mrs. Dyer, and Ms. Virginia Redmond, Ms. Catherine Williams, Ms. Alice Hay, and Sammy Farris, just to name a few.
In those day, things were different from today. We never locked a door, day or night. We knew and loved all of our neighbors. NewTown was more than just a neighborhood—it was like a big happy family! We went to church together, rode the school bus, and played together, in comparison to today, when we barely know who our neighbors are.
Yes, Alvin and Jean Frost have given us quite a legacy to live up to. We were so very fortunate to have such wonderful parents, who were so young and so vibrant when we were all born! This is our opportunity to say, thank you to them for being a beacon from that lighthouse that in many ways, still guides us, giving us direction if we wander from the path that leads home. I guess, if our love for them were measured by grandchildren and great grandchildren, they would know just how deep that love runs. They are adored as “Nanny” and Granddaddy Alvin” by 15 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
Forever...One Step at a Time - By: Amanda Hale It was on the steps of her grandmother's house that he asked her for her hand. He was barely old enough to drive a car... but plenty wise enough to know he wanted Emily Jean Reed by his side for the rest of his life.
It started right then and there, this journey of a thousand steps. The seed was planted and the roots went deep And before they knew it... the boy and girl playing house became the man and woman raising a family.
Six babies...all girls! Can you believe it? Isn't God good? One right after the other... with corkscrew curls and matching dresses.
This sturdy little plant had become a tree.
The years passed and the girls got bigger...while the house got smaller. Times were sometimes tight, but love was always free.
Hearts were broken and fights were had There was laughter and tears and everything in between. And the storms came along every now and then, with their raging thunder and mighty wind... but the sturdy little tree planted in love and nurtered in prayers refused to be uprooted.
One by one, the girls left home. To chart their own path, to make their own way. And before you could blink, the man and woman raising a family... became Nanny and Grandaddy.
New seeds were planted and before their very eyes this family of eight more than tripled in size! And as the family multiplied, so did the love.
The years passed and the grandchildren grew bigger, until they were no longer the little boys and girls playing house... but the men and women raising families.
And we struggle and we believe and we doubt and we cry. We face pain and uncertainty, broken hearts and ask "Why?"
But after the rain comes the sun, and with the sun comes the shade... and we find rest for our souls beneath the branches of our heritage.
Did he know? Did she imagine? In the moment that it all began... a teacher, a businessman, a preacher, a nurse. What a legacy they created a little at a time.
So when the branches bend and the rain pours down, the sun refuses to shine and we can't see the light of day for the darkness of night... we look to them for hope, and remember our way.
It was on the steps of her grandmother's house that he asked for her hand... and he's held it for the last 60 years.
He's barely young enough to drive a car... but still wise enough to know he wants Emily Jean Reed by his side for the rest of his life.
For Mom and Dad - By: Rita Lynch She sits there in her rocking chair cushions frayed from many hours of rocking rockers squeaking as she stiches pieces of colorful fabrics together Making a quilt, she says... She's been working on it for years I wonder Will it ever be finished?
He sits nearby in his usual spot on the couch the spot that is badly sinking in from his many hours of being there working his crossword puzzles under the lamp because sight is failing He's been working them as long as I can remember so much that he knows all the answers but diligently continues The rest of the couch looks brand new But this is his spot He won't sit anywhere else.
After awhile she will place her sewing gently back in its basket and he will put aside his puzzle stand... a little slower today and announce to her that he must cut some grass He just cut it yesterday but in his mind it needs it again He is out the door and soon she will hear the tractor crank up just as it does everyday except Sunday.
She will arise from her chair with much difficulty... No longer straight and tall ...the arthritis is taking its toll She will take smaller steps than she took yesterday to the kitchen where peeling potatoes has become a chore Hands that sewed for children and grandchildren no longer nimble but stiff and painful But they are here in their own home independent and for this, they are happy.
Happiness changes over the years and love becomes companionship Together... they have beat the odds!
"Nanny" - Written By: Amanda Hale Gray hair, twinkling eyes, care-worn face. "You are an inspiration to me," she said.
Six kids, one husband, seventy-six years Hundreds of home-cooked meals, Homemade dresses, Tears and fears. Through lives and deaths, Births on sunny days, and gravesites on cold, rainy days. Fifteen grandchildren Nineteen great-grandchildren Through hours of laughter and hours of pain, From a one-room shack to Rattle -N- Snap... Through trials and tribulations And joy beyond compare Do you know that she calls every family member out by name in her prayers each night? Miles and miles behind her... The things her eyes have seen! All this... and I am an inspiration to her? ME?
Twenty-seven years, not yet married, no kids Full of insecurities, still a little timid, trying to find my way, no major accomplishments, no home-cooked meals, no homemade dresses. Just the love of God shining in my heart, and His promise on my lips. Can you imagine how glorious He must be... to make ME a source of inspiration for HER?
"You are an inspiration to me," she said. Perhaps she doesn't realize it is the most precious compliment I have ever received.
I love you, Nanny.
Nanny & Grandaddy: Their History, Written By: Amanda Hale Take a quick glance at Alvin and Jean Frost, and you might simply see a couple in the golden years of their life, a couple that has a fondness for "Three's Company" and "Wheel of Fortune," a couple that likes nothing more than playing a simple card game with family members, and a couple that is known to bicker over this week's crossword puzzle in the "Daily News Journal." Scratch the surface, however, and you might just discover something more.
That discovery would be that of a man and woman who have loved each other for more than 60 years, a man and woman who have stood by each other through the good times and the bad, who raised six daughters to be upstanding members of our community, who are responsible for a multitude of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and who went from living in a wooden shack to one of the finest mansions in Tennessee - all as a result of their own hard work and perseverance. A man and woman, who, with their six children, epitomized the idealistic, 1950s family.
It all began back in 1944, when Alvin Frost met Jean Reed through her brother, Frank. Frank and Alvin attended school together, and Alvin and Jean also attended the same church, Patterson Baptist Church in Possum Trot, Tennessee. Young Alvin became smitten with Jean as she sang "Kneel at the Cross" during a church service. Alvin proposed to Jean on Christmas 1943, and the two were married on August 13, 1944. Alvin was 16 and Jean was 14.
Alvin first worked at Colonial Bakery in Nashville, but the two soon moved to Ohio to work in Alvin's relatives' restaurant. Fourteen months after their marriage, they had their first baby girl, Brenda. Jean desired a large family due to the deterioration of her own family after her father's unexpected death from a heart attack at age thirty-three. She and her sister were sent to live in one place, her brother Frank in another. Her wish was certainly granted! Over the next fourteen years, the couple was blessed with five more baby girls: Judy, Rita, Debbie, Terri, and Pam. All except for Brenda, who was born in Chapel Hill, were born at what is now Middle Tennessee Medical Center.
Alvin and Jean recognize the vast differences in rearing their girls and the rearing of children today:
"During this time, kids had to mind their parents more than kids today. We used switches for spankings, and nobody threatened to arrest us, there were a lot less drug problems, and God was not only in church, but in schools, as well."
"I didn't allow my girls to date until they were 16. They were considered adults when they moved out on their own."
This was not only a much simpler time for raising kids, but a much simpler time, economically, as well. The couple remembers the days of producing their own food for their family:
"We would grow our own wheat, kill our own hogs. We had cows and chickens, fruit trees, and we canned our own vegetables to last us through the winter."
During these years, the family experienced their share of tragedy. Alvin's brother, Ray, was killed in a motorcyle accident while in the Navy; Jean's brother, Frank, a renowned race car driver, was killed in a race; and Alvin's nephew, Michael, was killed in a car wreck at the tender age of 16.
In the latter years, the family lived mostly in the Rutherford County area, except for a few years when they moved to Ohio and then to Alabama. In Ohio Alvin owned and operated CCA, known as Consumer Corporation of America. He also bought the historic home known as Rattle and Snap, one of the finest mansions ever built in the South. These years were idealistic years for the Frost family; in the halls of Rattle and Snap, the family celebrated a wedding, a birth (mine!), and numerous holidays.
Much hard work preceded the building of their own business and the owning of Rattle and Snap; when the couple first married, they didn't have electricity or even a bathroom. Jean remembers:
"I washed the clothes on a washboard. We didn't have an electric washing machine. I sewed all of our clothes, as well. To iron the clothes, I used a wood iron."
When electrical appliances did become available, Alvin and Jean say they felt like they were living in luxury. Something known as a "Peddling Wagon" also came about during this time period. A Peddling Wagon was like a form of a car, except it had supplies for sale, such as thread and baking soda. It would come around to all the neighborhoods and the families could purchase their necessities right there instead of having to go into town.
For fun on a Friday or Saturday night, the family would particpate in square dances, PTA activities, church activities, or ballgames. Sundays consisted of church and sometimes, gospel singings. Alvin and his brothers formed a gospel quartet known as the Frost Brothers, and their love for gospel music has been passed down to the younger generations of the Frosts.
During the war years, Alvin did not have to serve. His brother, Johnny, served in the Vietnam war, and his first cousin was on a ship that was shot down during World War II. The couple remembers the war years:
"Gasoline and food were rationed. Shoes were rationed. There were no cars. You received stamps in order to get food and gas, and if you didn't have the stamps to get these things, you did without. In those days, people did not have to be drafted, or forced to go to wat. People were proud to go. People were patriotic."
After all the girls were raised and married, Alvin and Jean purchased a house located on Cason Lane in Murfreesboro. They lived there for more than 20 years, and just a few years ago, moved back to Rockvale, where their courtship first started. They remain there to this day. They have literally come full circle.
In recent years, Alvin owned and operated four local convenience stores. He and Jean are now both retired. They have produced six daughters, fifteen grandchildren, and seventeen great-grandchildren (with two more on the way!). They are responsible for several teachers, a nurse, a basketball coach, an author, a songwriter, and numerous other future success stories. They have striven to keep a hint of the idealism of the 1950s by raising God-fearing daughters and encouraging them to do the same. They have created a family that, unlike so many other families today, has stayed close through the years and has huge family gatherings to honor the holidays.
Next time you look at a gray-haired couple and start to write them off as "just another old couple," take a minute to look below the surface. Look at their proud "Wall of Fame," a wall dedicated to pictures of the family they have produced. When the couple bickers, watch the twinkle in their eyes from so many years of being together and automatically knowing the other's response. And take a glance at something as simple as the old woodbox that stands proudly next to the fireplace...a woodbox that once held an infant the day she came home from the hospital and needed a bed.