Lathrup Village remembers former Mayor Frank Brock

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Southfield Sun | Published June 20, 2024

 Former Mayor Frank Brock is pictured with current Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett.

Former Mayor Frank Brock is pictured with current Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett.

Photo by Mayor Kelly Garrett


LATHRUP VILLAGE — Ian Ferguson, a former Lathrup Village Council member, described former Mayor Frank Brock as a man who leaves a legacy.

“He has left such a legacy for himself and his family. He has now expanded the circle. His circle is so wide. And there’s so many kids out there that have benefited from being fostered by him and Ginny, his late wife,” Ferguson, said of Brock, who was mayor of Lathrup for 26 years and fostered over 100 children. “So it’s really interesting to get that perspective and just understand it takes a depth of respect and love for our humanity to foster children anyway, but for you to go over 100 children — that is just remarkable to me.”

Brock passed away May 23. He was predeceased by his late wife of 55 years, Virginia “Ginny” Brock, with whom he fostered over 100 children and adopted eight.

Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett likened the Brock family to Josephine Baker’s “rainbow tribe.”

“It was such a diversity of kids that he was a foster parent to, and that’s one thing I always respected about him and Ginny, is that they were like the rainbow tribe.”

Frank and Ginny were loving parents to Alice Mintz (David), Juli Berres Waino, Heather Brock, Matthew Brock, Timothy Brock (Janee), Brandon Brock (Krystle), David Brock, and Jacqueline Brock-Edan; and grandparents to 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Brock was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Ida May Brock, and brother Willis Brock.

He is remembered by the community for his love for humanity and dedication to the betterment of Lathrup Village.

He served on the Lathrup Village Planning Commission, Downtown Development Authority board, Catholic Charities and as treasurer for the Optimist Club for many years. Brock was the founder and past chairman of Credit Union Advantage and the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ferguson, who served on the City Council with Brock for six years, thinks back fondly to how, despite their opposing political views, Brock embraced everyone and was always willing to hear different points of view.

“It just made me realize what he did,” Ferguson said.  “I can’t walk in his shoes at all. I would never be able to do that. You can only just take the positive out of that. You can only take what he’s imparted on you, and you can only try to make it better. But we’ll never be like him. His temperament, the way he led people, the way he understood people, the way he related to people. I mean, it’s very uncommon.”

According to Ferguson, Brock was one of a kind.

Brock was born May 4, 1940, and was raised in Niles, Michigan. He was a graduate of Michigan State University with an emphasis in ornamental horticulture and business. He spent most of his career in health care and administration. After two years at Sparrow Hospital, he became the personnel director at Providence Hospital Southfield. He served in many roles, including human resources, construction management and as the executive director of the Novi Providence Foundation. He retired as vice president of government affairs after 38 years of service.

“We changed the name of a street that’s behind City Hall. When you come into City Hall, there’s a little street there when you turn into the parking lot. So we renamed it ‘Frank Brock Way.’ And so he’s always getting his way on that street; that’s what we always say,” Ferguson said. “He liked it, and we hoped we could have done more for him, but we can’t measure how much he’s changed the city for the better. It’s a terrible loss, to be honest.”

Garrett described Brock as a father figure to her.

“I think that he’s one of those people that what the Bible says: that he was a good and faithful servant, and he really served Lathrup Village well.”

Brock’s funeral was held June 1 at A.J. Desmond & Sons in Royal Oak, with his final resting place in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield.