The Norman Transcript


March 20, 2013

Dorothy J. Frudd

NORMAN — Dorothy J. Frudd, 93, passed away Sunday, March 17, 2013, in Norman. Dorothy was born Oct. 3, 1919, in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, to Harvey Murray (deceased prior to her birth) and Genneth Smith.

Graveside services will be noon today at AL Stephens Cemetery in Clayton. All are invited.

Dorothy left school early to bring in family income, never finishing high school. In 1941, Dorothy met and fell in love with Francis “Frank” W. Frudd, a RCAF officer training in Trenton, Ontario. They were married on Dec. 23, 1941, just prior to Frank’s departure for England. Frank was from Detroit, a child of English immigrants, who had joined the RCAF prior to the U.S. entrance into WWII because of deep concerns of an impending German invasion of England.

During the war years, Dorothy worked assembling early radar devices for the Allied cause while keeping up a constant flow of letters and packages to her beloved Frank. Frank’s bomber was shot down on the night of July 3-4, 1943, while coming back from a bombing run on Cologne, Germany (33rd mission). Dorothy received the dreaded MIA telegram from Bomber Command, followed by a “captured” telegram a couple of months later.

Frank was imprisoned at Stalag Luft III, a German Air Force POW camp involved in the famed “Great Escape,” and played an active role in tunnel construction and logistics with unwitting support from his young wife, Dorothy.

Dorothy, among others, sent thousands of cigarettes and many pounds of tobacco and chocolate via the Red Cross to Frank, which were used to bribe German guards for civilian clothing, train schedules, dyes, travel documents, etc., facilitating the escape.

After WWII, the couple made Detroit their home, Frank becoming a welding supply salesman. In 1952, the couple decided to chase the American dream by opening a welding supply store of their own, Best Welding Supply. They operated this business until 1970, when they decided to semi-retire to southeastern Oklahoma, where friends from Ohio had moved. In 1971, the couple obtained an Otasco franchise and opened a small Otasco store in Clayton. They operated this business until Frank passed in 1976.

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