Donation of $10,000 towards Front Entrance of St. Francis Manor

Frosty and Joan Mitchell say ‘Thank You’ and ‘Goodbye’ to Grinnell

Posted: December 1st, 2011
Dion Schrack with Frosty and Joan Mitchell

Former long time Grinnell residents, Joan and Frosty Mitchell, made their exit from Grinnell by providing the entrance to the remodeled and enlarged St. Francis Manor Health Care Center. The $10,000 gift is a thank you to the area citizens as the Mitchells begin their permanent residence in Stuart, Florida.

The Mitchells purchased radio station KGRN in 1959 and moved from Des Moines to Grinnell with their three small daughters, Mianne, Debra and Dorea in 1960. KGRN became the home office of Mitchell Broadcasting Company, which grew into several Midwestern AM and FM radio stations and ownership of the Iowa Hawkeye Sports Network.

The Mitchells have a long history of health care involvement in Grinnell. Frosty was instrumental in the merging of St. Francis Hospital and Community Hospitals into the building of Grinnell General Hospital.

In the late 1960’s, St. Francis Hospital was located on the present St. Francis Manor site and Community Hospital was on the site of what is now Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

After this merger of hospitals, Frosty was chairman of the fund raising drive to build Grinnell General Hospital.  After the drive’s success and Grinnell General Hospital was constructed, he served as Chairman of the Board, and the new facility was opened, and the St. Francis property was transformed into a nursing home facility.

The Mitchells and their daughters funded “The Mitchell Meditation Room” in the most recent expansion of Grinnell Regional Medical Center. The room known as the “Grace Place” serves the hospital patients, employees and visitors as a chapel.

Joan was an early member of the St. Francis Manor board serving for 10 years from October 1983 to October 1993 and during that time was President from 1991 to 1993. It was during these years that the board of directors worked with Executive Administrator Dion Schrack to develop the Seeland Park retirement community.

In describing her service at St. Francis, Joan Mitchell said, “Of all the state-wide and local boards and commissions that I have been privileged to serve on, St. Francis Manor touched my heart the most. Those early years of financial and facility struggles were difficult, but we were working with a young, energetic and determined executive administrator [Dion Schrack] and the other outstanding individuals on the board who made our growth possible, to today looking at the expansion and state of the art facility, that soon will be the envy of the nursing home industry in Iowa. I am grateful and blessed to have been a small part.”

When asked for a comment on their gift, Frosty Mitchell said, “I was always so proud of Joan’s participation at St. Francis. Grinnell has been good to us and our family. It was a great place to be in business and to raise and educate our children, and call home for over fifty years. This gift is another gesture of our belief in helping financially with healthcare, education and churches while in Grinnell. As we leave our legacy, it is best stated in the words that will be in the new entry way of St. Francis Manor: ‘Through these doors, pass the world’s greatest people… Grinnellians and their friends.”

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