About the Foundation
William Otto and Gertrude Lewis Frohring
William Otto Frohring (1893-1959) was a scientist, inventor and businessman. He helped develop the world’s first commercially produced infant formula, and launched companies to synthesize and sell vitamin products. The son of a railroad engineer, W.O. Frohring worked his way up from the loading docks of a Cleveland dairy, to become chief chemist at Walker-Gordon Laboratories, president of S.M.A. Corporation, and a director of American Home Products. Energetic, enterprising, W.O. Frohring published 14 scientific papers, and earned patents for products ranging from a compact cement mixer, to medical devices, to malted milk.
Gertrude Lewis Frohring (1894-1985) was a philanthropist, humanitarian, teacher, and musician. Born in Chicago, she moved with her family to Cleveland. A track and field star in high school, she earned a degree in Education from Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University and studied piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was teaching sixth grade at Bolton Elementary School when she met and married W.O. Frohring. They had four children - Roger, Lloyd, Elaine and Glenn. After raising her children, she volunteered as music director of the Metzenbaum Opportunity School in Chesterland, Ohio, where she shared her love of music with developmentally disabled children.
The Frohring Foundation
William Otto Frohring conceived the Frohring Foundation before his death in 1959, to support healthcare, the arts, education and our surroundings. In 1962, the Foundation supported the construction of the Frohring Music Building at Hiram College, in Hiram Ohio, and furnished it with five grand pianos. In 1979, it paid for major lighting in the parking areas of Blossom Music Center, the Summer Home of the Cleveland Orchestra. That same year, it sponsored the restoration of a rare Pullman railroad car for the Midwest Railway Historical Foundation. The Geauga Parks System has benefited from the Foundation’s support for the Donald W. Meyer Center in Chardon, and Observatory Park in Montville.
Naming gifts have included the Frohring Breast Imaging Suite at Geauga Hospital, the W.O. Frohring Family Resource Center at University Hospitals, and the Frohring Piano Room at Severance Hall.