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Wallace Frost

Wallace Edson Frost was born in 1927, the youngest of seven children and grew up in Minnesota during the Great Depression. At age 13 he was sent to live in Wheaton, IL while his brothers attended Wheaton College. After graduating from Wheaton Academy, Wally enrolled in Wheaton College in Fall 1943. At age 18 Wally was a 6-5, 220 pound athlete when he met Phyllis, whom he would later marry. By 1944 he had enlisted in the Army and was the third brother to become a Navy chaplain. After World War II ended, he returned to Wheaton in 1946.  Determined to make the varsity football team, he started feeling sickly and headed for the infirmary.  It would 26 months before he came out of hospitals, stricken with polio and forced to drop out of Wheaton. While in Hines Veterans Hospital he courted nursing intern Phyllis Hibma. The couple married and moved to Long Beach, CA.  As a handicapped man, Wally temporarily fixed watches before soon deciding he could do more. He got a BA degree from Long Beach State College where he was student body president.  He taught English and speech at Valley Christian High School and assisted in the sports programs at Cerritos College. Wally drove all over Southern Cal speaking to youth and adult groups and singing at weddings and funerals. He worked with juveniles, the elderly and and at a hospital/clinic encouraging those who were spinal cord injured. Wally and Phyl Frost had five children. Wally played wheelchair basketball for the Long Beach Flying Wheels who won several national titles. Wally was chosen as the only non-U of Illinois alumnus to fly with 16 other 'wheelies' to tour South Africa, demonstrating that paraplegics can be self-sufficient and self-supporting. He was named a wheelchair all-American basketball player. Wally Frost died on March 8, 2007 at age 80.