CUYAHOGA FALLS: Cuyahoga Falls police lost one of their own this year.
Howard “Pete” Frontz, 74, died March 17. He served the department for 32 years before retiring in 1995 with his wife and children to a southern Ohio farm in Woodsfield.
On Wednesday, Frontz’s name and two other deceased Falls police retirees — William E. Rawson and Carl Baldwin — were remembered during the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial service.
Rawson died in 1937 and Baldwin died in 1962.
Frontz’s family, including his wife, Robin, and most of their 13 children, took up about a quarter of the 100 chairs placed under a tent in front of the memorial.
About 50 more people, including police officers from surrounding communities, huddled in the tent, away from a steady spring rain.
Robin Frontz said her husband loved being a police officer.
“It was his life,” she said.
They moved to a farm because he loved growing things. But most of all, he loved children. Howard had two from his first marriage, and he had two with Robin.
Then he suggested instead of having more children, they find some that “needed somewhere to go,” she said.
“We fostered a lot of kids,” she said. “We adopted eight.”
The children came to them at all ages. The youngest was a 6-month-old girl. The oldest a 6-year-old. They also raised a 14-year-old who didn’t want to be adopted because he didn’t want to change his last name. They also adopted three siblings, not once, but twice.
The children now range in age from 12 to 23.
What they remember most is the stories their father told.
“He would tell funny stories, different things that happened on the job,” recalled his son, Peter, 16.
During the ceremony, Falls police Chief Tom Pozza presented Robin Frontz with an American flag, in honor of her husband, as the children, including Terri Malone, looked on.
“He would have been proud to be here with everybody else,“ Malone said. “There are quite a few people he served with here.”
All of the officers listed on the three pillars of the memorial retired from the Falls or Silver Lake police departments before their deaths or died in the line of duty either while serving as a police officer or as a member of the military.
During this first ceremony since the memorial was dedicated in August, Falls Mayor Don Robart and Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey presented proclamations designating this Police Memorial Week.
Featured speaker Lt. Col. William Yoho, of the National Guard, compared the sense of duty a soldier feels as they protect and serve the country with police officers who protect and serve their community.
“We are the best trained and the best equipped and we can count on that,” he said. “With police officers, when they are doing their duty, they know going into a bad situation their brothers have their back and they can count on that.”
While the hourlong service was to remember those who have served and died, the living were not forgotten.
“We honor them best by what we do when we leave here,” Yoho said. “Honor them by doing our duty, fulfilling commitments and living up to the high standards they set.”