Raynor Randall Frost
Raynor Randall Frost, aka “Frosty”, previously of Branford FL, Tamms, IL and New Milford CT, passed away peacefully on Labor Day, September 5th, 2022, in Sharon CT. He was 82 years old.
Ray was first and foremost a coon hunter. Our dad hunted raccoons for 60+ years and was a true legend of the sport. He raised a line of Treeing Walker coonhounds through 11 generations of dogs, as part of his White Hills Kennels, named for the White Hills section of Shelton CT where we were born. He was a frequent participant in regional coon hunts, water races and bench shows winning many awards over the years including Grand Show Champion, Grand Bench Champion, Grand Water Champion and Grand Night Champion. He raised many favorite outstanding dogs over the years including Merchant ‘The Merch’, Jim, Troop, Lynx, Sally, Music and most recently his beloved Spike. Dad was a lifetime benefactor member of the NRA and has the distinction of having several coon dogs buried in the Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery in Tuscumbia, AL – an elite distinction for only a true coon dog. The official burial of The Merch was even covered by ESPN in 2008. Ray and Kathy, our mom, started the Western Connecticut Treehound Association in the 1980s along with a group of local hunters. Dad was a frequent contributor to American Cooner and Full Cry magazine with a regular column and was interviewed for coon hunting books written by his friend Gregory Bart Nation. If you knew our dad, he would talk about his coon hunting adventures (in real time!) to anyone and everyone that would listen, and to friends whose phone numbers he kept in a little black book and called often.
Dad retired from Southern New England Telephone company in Danbury CT at the age of 49 a fact he reminded us regularly – “work” is a four letter word.
Dad’s love of coon hunting, fishing and being a true outdoorsman was supported by his loving family. He was a father to Debra Frost – DeCaro (Christopher), and Dawn Farrell; the grandfather to Austin Farrell (Rachel) and Chelsea Farrell-Wheeler (Ryan) and great-grandfather to Elijah, Adalia & Caden Farrell.
Dad shared his love of the outdoors with his daughters – through camping trips to Vermont and Maine, the beaches of Rhode Island and North Carolina, teaching us to shoot beer cans off a stone wall with a 22 at the age of 10, and teaching his grandson to fish. We often joined him coon hunting during corn season when it was the easiest for us to follow along in the dark.
Dad had a huge love of music and frequently called in to a local radio station on Sunday nights, WPKN to request doo-wop tunes. He was quite diverse in his tastes – from Black Sabbath to Mustang Sally. Dad’s lifelong friends included Wayne Moore and his wife Anna, Billy Bones, and Doug Cable as well as decades of fellow hunters across the country.
In addition to being survived by his “ex” wife Kathleen Frost, daughters and immediate family, he is survived by his sisters Martha Kaechele (Walter), Alexandra Panuczak (Richard in heaven), Brenda Hachtman (Steve) and Lois Palmer (Scott) and his beloved dog Spike. He was predeceased by his parents Randall & Beatrice Frost of Trumbull CT and his beloved aunts – Isabelle, Helen and especially Irene.
Dad was raised in Trumbull CT, graduating from Bassick High School (Bridgeport) in 1958 and spent 3 long years in the Army. Dad’s battle with dementia took the last 3-4 years from him, but now he is wearing his brown bib overalls, his hunting headlamp, carrying his compass, listening to doo-wop, waiting for it to get dark enough to take Merch to the woods. Go tree ‘em dad.
A day celebrating Ray’s life will be held on the opening day of coon hunting season, Saturday, October 15th, 2022. For details, please reach out to Debra, Dawn or Kathy.