Corinne Frost turns 101

‘I’m stubborn and I won’t give up’

By WILLIAM WRIGHT Staff Writer
Posted 8/16/17

Don’t let the fact that Corinne Stephanie Frost just turned 101 make you think she’s not as sharp and witty as women half her age.

Her birthday is today.

Frost is a loveable, likeable …

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Corinne Frost turns 101

‘I’m stubborn and I won’t give up’

Posted

Don’t let the fact that Corinne Stephanie Frost just turned 101 make you think she’s not as sharp and witty as women half her age.

She celebrated turning 101 on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Frost is a loveable, likeable senior with a sense of humor that startles you because you rarely see it coming and if you’re not attentive, it may even go over your head.

When asked what keeps her going, Frost remarked with a straight face, “I’m stubborn and I won’t give up!”

Then she laughed. She lived most of her life in Oswego, III., where she owned and operated a restaurant. She was known as “an incredible cook” and “a very talented seamstress.” She even made all of her own clothes and assorted jewelry when she was younger.

She said, “I used to like to do everything, but when you get over 100-years-old you’re not worth two cents.”

Her friends and the staff at Morningside of Cleveland, where she lives, would beg to differ.

Frost is considered an integral part of the social structure at the assisted living facility. Not only does she participate in games and keep everyone on their toes with her sly humor, but she serves as “the caller,” in announcing the bingo numbers over the microphone, according to Janie Wingo, lifestyle director at Morningside of Cleveland.

Looking back on her life, Frost who was born in Sublette, III., said she can recall riding a camel and an elephant in her earlier days. She chuckled and said, “Now, that’s different!”

“It was a circus that came to town. I wasn’t a big woman like I am now (joking). But I was married. The elephant picked me right up with his trunk! The camel had a double saddle. One person sat on each saddle.”

Frost paused momentarily and said, “I tell you, I’ll try anything... once! And if I don’t like it I never try it again. I was married when I was 17! We married in 1933, I think. That was a long time ago. You know, when you get my age you don’t think very good.”

Family confirmed that Frost was, indeed, married to Richard P. Songer on April 22, 1933. Her sister, Eileen, married Richard’s brother, Ernest. Frost and her husband had one son, Larry Allen Songer, who was born Oct. 31, 1940.

On Oct. 7, 1989, Frost married Everett McKeown. The two spent their winters in Boynton Beach, Fla., and their summers in Oswego, III.

A few years after Everett passed on April 11, 1993, Frost made Boynton Beach her full-time home until her son moved her to Morningside on June 13, 2013, where she would be close by. He lived in Benton. He died Aug. 15, 2015.

Frost has one grandson, Dr. Stephen Scot Songer and three great-granddaughters, Kathryn, Corinne and Stephanie. They live in Overland Park, Kan. Her parents, Scott and Augusta Frost, lived in Amboy, III.

Frost said she enjoys living at Morningside. “They’re very good to you and the food is good. They take care of clothes good and they take care of your rooms good. You can’t ask for anything better.”

Frost paused with a distinct comedic timing and said, “Of course, I’m easily pleased!”

Regarding her approach to life, Frost said, “I look on the bright side of everything. The worse thing I experienced was when my son passed away. It was tough! I wondered why the Lord didn’t take me and let him live because he was way younger than me. But that ain’t the way things go.”

Her recommendation for facing life’s tragedies was simple. She advised, “When you get down, don’t give up. Pick yourself up and make yourself feel good. Look on the bright side and keep going. I keep going.”

Known at Morningside for her love of black coffee and butterscotch candy, Frost has seen the bitter and the sweet, having weathered many storms. To this day she lives life at her own pace — sleeping late, skipping breakfast if that’s her fancy and firing one line zingers to make her listeners laugh.

“I’ve met a lot of nice people,” she said. “There’s a lot of nice people here.”

It was almost time for Frost to make her way to the activity room where she is expected to call out the Bingo numbers.

Wingo said seeing someone having fun, like Frost, as she approached 101 is truly inspiring. Frost, as feisty as ever, said she’s very pleased. Then added, “Of course, I’m easily pleased.”

email: william.wright @clevelandbanner.com

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