Connie Frock graduated from Southeastern High School in Detroit 1934. The St. Clair Shores resident celebrated her 106th birthday Sept. 13.

Connie Frock graduated from Southeastern High School in Detroit 1934. The St. Clair Shores resident celebrated her 106th birthday Sept. 13.

Photos provided by Carole Krieger

St. Clair Shores resident turns 106

By: Maria Allard | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published September 19, 2022

 Connie and Ivan Frock were kindred spirits on the dance floor. Here they are posing in one of their square-dancing outfits. Ivan died in 1975.

Connie and Ivan Frock were kindred spirits on the dance floor. Here they are posing in one of their square-dancing outfits. Ivan died in 1975.

Photo provided by Carole Krieger


ST. CLAIR SHORES — “I’m an antique,” longtime St. Clair Shores resident Connie Frock joked when thinking about how many candles would be on her birthday cake this year.

On Sept. 13, the birthday girl turned 106 years of age and celebrated the milestone.

At press time, several get-togethers were planned in her honor, including lunch Sept. 16 with family at the Continental Restaurant at the Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, and coffee and cake Sept. 18 at Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church, where Frock attends service every week.

For the past four years, Frock has lived at the American House Lakeshore senior living community in St. Clair Shores. On Sept. 12, the centenarian shared her life story with the St. Clair Shores Sentinel. Her daughter, Carole Krieger, 77, also participated in the interview.

Frock’s maiden name was Constance Olive Ellingham. She was born in 1916 in St. Albans, England, located north of London. She was 10 years old when Princess Elizabeth of York — who in 1952 would become Queen Elizabeth II — was born in 1926. Frock’s family moved to the U.S. when she was a young child, but she always followed the royal family. She felt the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, who died Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

“I felt terrible. I was surprised because she looked so well right up until the very end,” Frock said. “She was down to earth. She was for the common person, and she was giving them happiness. I thought she did a wonderful job.”

Growing up, Frock’s family lived in Detroit, where the young girl enjoyed her school years.

“I seemed to be the teacher’s pet,” she said.

That’s because she was a good student and always willing to lend a hand.

“The teachers always got you to help take things to the office and wash the blackboard,” Krieger said.

While attending Southeastern High School in the 1930s, Frock was quite the athlete. Even though she stood just 5 feet, 1 inch tall in height, she was a star basketball player. Frock also played baseball, swam and earned several bowling awards before graduating from high school in 1934. Somewhere along the way, she discovered the Detroit Tigers, and she and her dad often went to home games.

Not one to stay idle, Frock joined the workforce after high school. Retail was definitely a calling. Her first job was at Sears on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. At one time, Frock also was employed at Jacobson’s in the Village of Grosse Pointe. JCPenney at Eastland Mall was another place that hired Frock for her skills and experience. While on the job, the hard-working employee always worked in the men’s department. And while she enjoyed her position at all three retailers, JCPenney was her favorite.

“It was a wonderful store,” she said. “JCPenney gave me a lot of opportunities.”

Although born across the pond, Frock became an American citizen. Frock also had a head for numbers and put that to good use when attending business school in downtown Detroit. She worked at Briggs Beauty Wear until World War II began in 1941, and then it was changed to Briggs Manufacturing Plant, where products for the war were made.

“I was in charge of the payroll,” she recalled.

As a young woman, she also found love. One evening when out with friends in Anchor Bay, she met a young man named Ivan Frock. They soon began dating. One pastime they had in common was dancing. The two could cut a rug, especially if it was ballroom dancing or square dancing. Frock sewed a lot of her own square-dancing dresses.

“He was very considerate, and he said he enjoyed being with me,” Frock said. “He was very handsome, too. He grew on me. After a year, he asked me to marry him.”

And she said “yes.” The couple tied the knot in 1942 inside an Episcopalian church and settled into married life in their Detroit bungalow where they raised their two children, Krieger and her brother Roger, who died in recent years. Over the years, Frock doted on her five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, who call her “GG.”

Ivan died in 1975. Frock then sold the Detroit home and moved into a condominium in St. Clair Shores, where she was known for “being the entertainer.” Something she did every St. Patrick’s Day was cook corned beef and cabbage for her neighbors. She also had a knack for baking cakes.


‘Being active keeps you young.’
Frock and Krieger credit several factors to her longevity.

“You have exercised every day of your life,” Krieger reminded her mom. “You did water aerobics into your 90s until the instructor retired.”

“Being active keeps you young,” Frock said. “The longevity I know is unusual. I have enjoyed it.”

Frock also is an avid reader and still picks up local newspapers to keep up with current events. She reads spiritual devotionals every day. Frock also stays busy making homemade greeting cards from recycled cards. It’s a pastime she never tires of.

“I like to make cards for people that are good to me,” she said.

Seeing the world also has kept her youthful. She has visited all 50 U.S. states and traveled overseas many times to Europe, trekking through Spain, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, the former Yugoslavia and, of course, England.

And no matter what day of the week it is, the stylish Frock always gets dressed up and puts on her earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets.

“I always have something beautiful people give to me,” she said. “I like to wear them.”