In Memoriam: James L. “Jack” Frost, MD


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Dr. James L. Frost, MD

James L. “Jack” Frost, MD

It is with great fondness that we remember James L. “Jack” Frost, MD, AAFS Distinguished Fellow and long-time AAFS Student Academy Chair, who passed away after a long illness on June 27, 2016. Dr. Frost, a former West Virginia State Medical Examiner and WVU professor, experienced a most notable career in education and the forensic sciences. Beginning in 1957, Dr. Frost guided scores of young medical students in Pathology and Neurology as instructor and professor. He served as a medical examiner and forensic pathologist for more than 28 years. In his capacity as Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for the State of West Virginia, Dr. Frost oversaw the North Central Region-Northern Region of the Medical Examiner’s Office and was responsible for autopsies from as many as 32 counties of northern West Virginia.

Dr. Frost was raised in Baltimore, MD, and attended Princeton University where he was a member of a national championship lacrosse team. He graduated in 1953 and attended Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After his internship and residency at Johns Hopkins, Jack served three years in the U.S. Air Force stationed at South Ruislip, England, where he played for the South of England lacrosse team. On returning to the U.S., Jack had a fellowship at Johns Hopkins and took up forensic pathology under Dr. Russell Fisher at the Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office. In 1977, Jack became deputy chief medical examiner for North Central West Virginia and a faculty member at the WVU School of Medicine.

Welcomed into AAFS membership as a Provisional Member in 1979, Dr. Frost was elected into the Pathology/Biology Section. He was promoted to Fellow in 1981. He was a highly visible member of the Path/Bio Section and was actively involved in numerous Academy-wide programs. The section recognized Dr. Frost with one of its highest honors by presenting him with the Milton Helpern Award (1996) for his dedicated service to the section and to the AAFS. He served as Co-Chair and Chair of the Pathology/Biology Section’s Best Resident Paper Award Committee and as Vice Chair of the Pathology/Biology Section Research Committee. Additionally, Dr. Frost was acknowledged by the AAFS for his long-standing dedication to excellence and service as Chair of the Student Academy from 1986 until 2008. Dr. Frost was bestowed with one of the Academy’s highest honors, the Distinguished Fellow Medal, in 2004.

Dr. Frost’s service to the forensic sciences extended well beyond the activities of the AAFS. He was acknowledged for his numerous contributions by the National Association of Medical Examiners, the United States-Canadian Academy of Pathology, the Royal Society of Medicine, the American Medical Association, the Monongalia County Medical Society, the West Virginia Association of Pathologists, the Washington Society for Electron Microscopy, the Medical Advisory Board, the Maryland Society of Pathologists, and the International Wound Ballistics Association, to name only a few.

Dr. Frost is survived by his wife of 56 years, Alice; daughters, Susan Frost of Columbus, Ohio, and Elizabeth Frost Yocum and her husband, Thomas, of Dakar, Senegal. A memorial service is planned for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, at St. Thomas à Becket Church in Morgantown.