The room was filled with laughs and only a few tears as friends, family and coworkers remembered Frosty Westering today.
The service began with Reverend Nancy Conner’s invocation and a welcome from President Thomas Krise. PLU’s a capella group PLUtonic performed “Nearer my God to Thee.” PLU’s current football team was seated on the stage in full uniform, paying homage to Frosty’s football legacy.
David Olson told the crowd of more than 400 people that he served with Frosty for 12 years as PLU’s Athletic Director. Before reading passages from Matthew and Psalm, he remarked toward the sky, “Open the gates Lord, you’re really gonna love this one.” The scriptures read were reported to be two of Frosty’s favorites. The passage from Psalm 118 reads, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Olson then proclaimed to the crowd, “Let us rejoice and be glad for the life of Frosty Westering.”
The first reflection was made by Reverend Erving Severtson, who gave condolences to Frosty’s family. Frosty is survived by wife Donna Belle, children Holly, Sue, Brad, Scott and Stacey, 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Severtson told the crowd that “if you want to remember anything about Frosty, remember that he was a child of God.”
The speakers created a light mood for the memorial, though there were many tears throughout the program. Daughter-in-law Susan Westering and family friend Lorene Lenox sang “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”
The second scripture reading was given by Paul Hoseth, another former PLU Athletic Director and close friend and coworker of Frosty. The two coached together for 24 years. “[Frosty] was the captain of the football ship, we all knew that,” remarked Hoseth. He added that Frosty’s wife Donna Belle as his first mate.
The last reflection was given by Lauralee Hagen, a close family friend and Executive Director of PLU’s Alumni and Constituent Relations. Hagen remarked that “Frosty made everything a little more fun,” which the crowd whole-heartedly agreed with. After the memorial, Hagen explained that it was difficult for the speakers to try to capture everything Frosty represented.
It’s almost impossible to capture the many stories and the many really wonderful things that he brought to PLU,” said Hagen, who was a former student and coworker of Frosty and close friend with his children.
A larger ceremony will be held in Frosty’s honor Saturday, May 4 at the Life Center Church in Tacoma at 11 a.m.
“That’ll be huge, I’ve heard from lots of friends all over the country who are flying out to attend,” said Hagen.
In addition, an “afterglow” ceremony will be held at PLU’s Olson Auditorium at 4 p.m. “Afterglow” was a tradition created by Frosty and was a party held after every football game, win or lose, where players, family and friends gathered to share stories about the game. Hagen remembers an afterglow event called the “Frosty Farewell” for Frosty’s retirement years ago.
“Olson was packed and the event lasted seven hours, because there were so many people who wanted to share their stories about their time Frosty,” explained Hagen. “About three quarters of the way through a guy… stood up and said, ‘You’ll notice we’ve been here for five hours and nobody’s told a football story yet, it’s all about what we’ve learned about life.”
All six speakers at today’s event focused on Frosty’s legacy as a teacher and friend. Light-hearted stories about Frosty’s legacy at PLU made it clear that the man gave his all, whether on the field or off.
The memorial service was put on by Campus Ministry and Athletic Department. A live stream was available on the PLU website and will be later available online.