Eagle: Heights Handyman Len Frost Dies

Len Frost, the Heights Handyman, has died at 85 the Brooklyn Eagle reports.  The cause was lung cancer.   A memorial service will be held Saturday May 22 11am at Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims.

Brooklyn Eagle: Len Frost was born in 1924 in Brooklyn. His father Max owned, with a partner, a musical instrument case factory on Tillary Street (now a co-op). His mother Anna worked for his father until they married. As a child, Frost took rides in Prospect Park in a horse-drawn wagon driven by his uncle, and attended vaudeville with his father. At one vaudeville performance he shook the hand of the vice-president of the United States (most likely John Nance Garner IV — “Cactus Jack”), who arrived with four or five men in attendance.

He joined the army at the age of 17, just in time for World War II, arriving on Omaha Beach on June 8, D-Day Plus 2. He fought throughout Europe and saw the concentration camps at the war’s end. Upon his return to Brooklyn he married Caroline Mayers, moved to Flushing, and had three children. He worked in the factory for his father and then held a variety of jobs, including selling used cars and owning (with a partner) Stan-Frost Motors, an automobile agency in Lynbrook, New York. In the 1960s he operated a bookstore on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights called Paperback Books, where he sold books and greeting cards. The shop was successful but after seven years the landlord doubled the rent, forcing Frost to close.

After a divorce Mr. Frost became a fan of Bob Dylan, moved to Brooklyn Heights, and learned to do repairs and renovations. He eventually became the on-call handyman to many Heights residents and at one point had hundreds of keys hanging on his peg board. He married his present wife Mary, a Brooklyn Eagle reporter, in the 1980s (neglecting to tell her his true age until later) and had a child with her in 1995.

BHB extends its condolences to Mr. Frost’s family, especially Mary who has been a true friend of ours and this endeavor from Day One.

Share this Story:

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    I knew Len and Mary Frost, and their daughter Lisa, since 2001, when my daughter and theirs were at PS29 together. They were a lovely family, and Len was a fine man. This is very sad news. My heartfelt condolences to Mary and Lisa.

  • http://www.austeragency.com karen auster

    I know Len and Mary from Plymouth Church Preschool Days. Len was a wonderful man, and they are a wonderful family. I am so sorry to hear. Thank you BHB for posting this.

  • http://www.melaniehopegreenberg.com melanie hope greenberg

    Mary was my very first Art Director at an audio-visual company back in the early 1980’s and I knew Len from the neighborhood before they married. Mary has been extremely generous to me at the Eagle and as a friend. This is so sad. My deepest condolences.

  • George Earl

    Len and his family had an apartment for years in the same building on Henry and Clark Streets as I’ve been in for three decades now. So I saw him in many stages of his maturity. I think I was always impressed by his never-ending ability to see the so-called “show” go on. If there was something that had gone asunder in my apartment, he was there with an answer, a smile, and maybe a joke or two. And even though Len was almost a generation ahead of me, I never saw him as the older guy down the hall. Actually, he made me see my approaching senior years far more casually, while never telling myself that they’d never arrive. I bumped into Len just a few weeks ago in the drug store, and we compared our “mature” heads. I was there complaining because Mama Nature hadn’t allowed me to keep my gorgeous blond hair all that long. Then Len took his baseball cap off and showed me why I shouldn’t feel all that alone. His chemo-therapy had caused him to lose most of his well-kept hair. We hugged, me saying of course, “You know, we all should get together soon for dinner one night!” Where Len is now I’m sure he’s smilin’ down! Take care now, Len. We’ll miss you.

  • Mary

    Thanks very much Homer for posting this, and thanks to all for your lovely comments about Len. Len was so much a part of the Heights, and so many people have been stopping me on the street as I walk around. Many have a little story about something Len said, or tell me about the shelves he built 30 years ago that are still standing! If you knew Len, please feel welcome to come to the memorial service at Plymouth Church on Saturday, May 22, 11 a.m.

  • Heights mom

    I was so sad to hear this. Len and I became members of Plymouth in the same class. This really touched me, and Mary, I am thinking of you and your daughter.