Coast Pharmacy owner Frost active in schools

Garrison and Helene Frost at their Coast Pharmacy on Pier Avenue in the early ‘90s. Photo courtesy of the Frost family.

Longtime Beach Cities business owner, community volunteer, and family caregiver Helene Frost peacefully passed away on Easter Sunday morning, April 9, following a long illness. She was 85. 

Frost was known to many in Hermosa Beach through the Pier Avenue pharmacy, Coast Drug Store, which she and her husband Garrison owned from 1972 to 1995. Their near daily presence at the store made them recognizable figures within the downtown business community, which was enhanced by their participation in Hermosa Beach’s committees on economic enhancement and parking. 

Frost was also active in the local community, particularly through Sandpipers and American Martyrs Church, where her three children attended school. She helped organize fundraisers, such as the annual school fair, and co-wrote and produced several holiday musicals, including “Christmas Way, Way Out” and “Moving West.” 

Helene Loretta Chafe was born in 1937, in Los Angeles, the eldest of 12 children. She graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University, and, in 1959, from the University of Southern California. She met Garrison at a fraternity party in 1957, and they married in 1959. After graduation, she taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District. while her husband earned his degree in pharmacy. Their first home was in Westchester. Eventually, they settled in Manhattan Beach, and purchased Coast Drug Store in downtown Hermosa Beach. They moved to Hermosa Beach in 1979. 

In her 50s, as her children got older, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of getting a degree in interior design from UCLA Extension, and began working for clients. In this work, she drew upon her extensive knowledge of Early American antiques, a passion for which she maintained throughout her entire life, building an incredible collection. 

In her later years, Frost found joy in spending time with her family and friends, and pursuing her interest in collectibles. She loved hosting holiday family parties at her Hermosa Beach home with a grand view of Santa Monica Bay. 

Frost was preceded in death by her husband, Garrison, and survived by daughters Suzanne Frost and Caroline Frost; son Garrison Frost; granddaughter Jasmine Frost; brothers Lawrence Chafe, Frank Chafe, George Chafe, James Chafe, John Chafe, and Richard Chafe; and sisters Luci Chafe, Marie Chafe, and Cynthia Chafe. 

Services for Helene Frost will be held at American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach on April 27, at 9:45 a.m. She will be buried at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach with her husband. In lieu of flowers, people are encouraged to make contributions in her name to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Michael J. Fox Foundation. ER


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