Ray Frost

Frost warms community with spirit, generosity


What you are about to read is an interview by proxy.

Ray Frost, Payson's shyest mover and shaker, gently stated his preference to not participate in the Roundup's effort to profile him and his countless contributions to the Town of Payson.

Frost did, however, provide a list of locals who could more easily talk about his achievements and when those folks were contacted, nary a one was surprised to hear that their friend was reticent to toot his own bugle.

Linda Foster

Payson's town clerk from 1983 to 1999

"I don't think there's another living human being who's contributed more to Payson than Ray Frost ... He has volunteered his time and efforts to so many projects I can't remember them all.

"But more than all that, he is the kindest and most gentle human being I've ever known. He never forgets anyone's birthday or anniversary. I don't know how the man does it. There is no one like him. He's always giving, giving, giving, and he never takes. If his wife's ill or he's ill and you say, 'Let me know what I can do,' he'll say, 'Yeah, I'll call you.' But you never hear back from him ...

"I remember when Ray was sending supplies to the troops of Operation Desert Storm. There was a huge sand-flea problem there, so he went around, gathered up all of this skin lotion I think it was Skin-So-Soft and shipped it over there by the truckloads.

"My husband Paul happened to get a phone call the other day from a guy who said his name was Dan Frost. I asked him to hold, because my granddaughter was calling on the other line, and she had gotten kind of stranded. When I got back to Dan, he was so concerned whether or not my granddaughter's predicament was an emergency. As I handed the phone to Paul, I said, 'Ask this gentleman if he's Ray Frost's son, because nobody else would be as caring and giving and concerned as Ray.' Sure enough, we found out that Dan was Ray's son."

Bob Gould

Payson's community development director

"Ray is absolutely tremendous. He donated so many of his hours for economic development before the town had any kind of economic development program. He had some kind of contract with the town where they paid him a dollar a year, and he never collected the dollar.

"Ray's been involved with the (Community Action Program), he's on the Sanitary District board, and he's also active with the Payson Economic Development Corporation. He has a lot of very influential contacts which he basically loaned to Payson, like Gov. Rose Mofford, to help obtain things that the town wanted or needed.

"I would say that, in my opinion, Ray is the most influential person this town has ever seen and that's saying a lot, when you've got your George Randalls and your Jim Youngs and a few other people. Ray would never, ever say no to any request, and he'd always try his best to come through for you."

Craig Swartwood

Mayor of Payson from 1990 to 1994

"Ray Frost is an icon. He's one of the most giving people I've ever met in my life. I think Payson has been fortunate to have him call this home, because nobody loves this town more than Ray Frost.

"Probably the neatest thing about Ray, to me, is that the only ulterior motive the guy has ever shown is to make Payson a better place. The best goodwill ambassador the town of Payson has had over the last 20 years is Ray Frost.

"The guy has an incredible memory, and probably more friends than anyone I ever met. He calls my wife on her birthday, and calls me, and half the town just to wish us a happy birthday.

"Payson would be so different if it weren't for Ray. One, you wouldn't have a Wal-Mart ... Ray was the single most instrumental person in getting Wal-Mart to locate to Payson. It was done with everything from personal discussions with (Wal-Mart owner) Sam Walton to a diligence I haven't seen since.

"Ray was also in there doing his share of punching to see Green Valley Park happen. The thought process that's now being applied to the redevelopment of Main Street came from Ray Frost. He tried to boost that area.

"The list goes on and on and on.

"Of course, I have an ulterior motive for saying all of this. I just want to keep getting birthday cards and anniversary cards from Ray."

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