Ella Kay Knokey Frost

1887 - 1968

Ella Knokey Frost, a pianist, organist, and music teacher, also served the church as a missionary in China. Ella was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 7, 1887, the oldest of four daughters born to Charles and Eleanor Knokey. Her family became Adventists when she was a child and moved to Washington state, where she was baptized while attending Meadow Glade Academy, forerunner of Columbia Adventist Academy. She was one of five graduates from MGA in 1908.

She enrolled at Walla Walla College that fall, graduated with the first pianoforte diploma awarded by the college in the following spring, and continued at the school as a piano teacher for one year. In July 1910, she married Samuel Lilley Frost, who had graduated from Mount Vernon College, now Academy, in Ohio, as senior class president in1908 and had been teaching science and math at WWC since that time.

That fall, he became principal at Ames Academy, a new school in southern Idaho, where they both taught for the next three years, she teaching voice, piano, and organ. In November 1911 the building in which the school was housed burned down. The Frosts had been able to retrieve some school supplies and music instruments before the building collapsed, and the school year was completed in makeshift quarters. A new school, Mansfield Academy, was constructed in Caldwell, eventually relocated in another part of Caldwell and renamed Gem State Academy.

The Frosts left for missionary service in China in 1916. They continued there until the outbreak of war in China in 1923, when she returned to the U.S. and lived with her parents in Hoquiam, Washington, and he stayed there. She returned to China following the conflict, staying there until 1940, just before the outbreak of World War II, at which time she again returned to the U.S., while he was retained in the Philippines as a prisoner of war by the Japanese until 1945. Following another term of service in China, the Frosts returned to California, where he served as assistant chaplain and Bible teacher at the Glendale Sanitarium School of Nursing until he retired in 1953.

The Frosts were living in Livingston, New York, when Ella, who had been in ill health for several years, died while visiting in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, on December 19, 1968, at age 81. Samuel died sixteen years later on January 6, 1984 in Yucaipa, California, at age 96.


Sources: Obituary for Ella Frost, Atlantic Union Gleaner, 6 May 1969, 21; Claude Thurston, 60 Years of Progress, 1952; 1908 SDA Yearbook, 151; North Pacific Union Gleaner, 28 December 1911, 5; Obituary for Charles Knokey, 5 December 1944, 5; 27 March 1945, 7,8; Asiatic Division Outlook, 15 July 1923, 11; Obituary for Samuel Frost, Adventist Review, 3 March 1981; Death notice for Ella Frost, Review and Herald, 9 January 1969.