Public memorial for Gerry Frank set for May 19

Gerry Frank arrives at the dedication on Friday, July 23, of the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater in Riverfront Park. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A public memorial for Gerry Frank, considered “Mr. Oregon” for his life of dedication to his home state, will be held May 19 at the Salem Convention Center.

Frank died March 13 at age 98, leaving a legacy in business, politics and philanthropy. Born in 1923 in Portland, he served in World War II and followed his family into the department store business, opening the company’s Salem store in 1955.

He then became an advisor to Mark Hatfield and served as the Republican Senator’s chief of staff from 1973 to 1992. Frank was also active in Salem’s civic life, raising millions for local charities and remaining involved in the Rotary Club of Salem until his death. The club’s amphitheater, which opened in July in Riverfront Park, bears his name.

Frank’s celebration of life begins at 10 a.m. at the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. S.E., according to an obituary.

Guests are asked to RSVP to [email protected]

Donations in Frank’s honor may be made to the Gerry Frank Center for Children’s Care Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation, the Oregon State Police Foundation or the Oregon Historical Society.

-Rachel Alexander