Salem services for renowned author and philanthropist Gerry Frank

About 250 people responded for Gerry Frank’s public memorial service, but organizers expect more than double that number.

A celebration of the life of the famous businessman, author and philanthropist will be held May 19 at 10 a.m. at the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. SE.

Organizers are asking anyone planning to attend to RSVP by May 13 by emailing [email protected].

Frank died March 13 at his home in Salem. He was 98 years old.

A private memorial service was held April 20 in Portland, attended by approximately 150 family members and close friends. Frank, who never married and had no children, was buried next to his parents in a family plot in a Portland cemetery.

Salem’s Legacy:Remembering Gerry Frank

He called Salem home for seven decades, coming here in 1952 to open and manage the Salem branch of Meier & Frank. He went on to leave a legacy in business, politics, and philanthropy that spanned the state.

As one would expect of a man as organized as Frank, he left instructions for planning his memorial services with the co-executors of his estate.

“Gerry, quite frankly, explained everything – what he wanted at the funeral, who he would love there,” one of the executors, Marty Brantley, a retired Portland TV executive, told the Statesman Journal. “We tried to do everything he asked, with a few surprises.”

Some of the same people who spoke at the private memorial will be part of the program at the public celebration, including Stephen “Skip” Frank, Gerry’s nephew, and Mark “Marko” Hatfield Jr., son of the late U.S. senator whom Gerry served. with as chief of staff.

Other scheduled speakers include retired Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren, former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and former Salem Mayor Janet Taylor.

The celebration will take place in the convention center’s upstairs ballroom with rows of chairs instead of the venue’s typical table seating configuration. Organizers say the capacity is 1,200 people.

In Frank’s memory, his family and friends have asked that donations be made to one of three organizations:

Capi Lynn is a reporter for the Statesman Journal. Reach her at [email protected] or 503-399-6710, or follow her on Twitter @CapiLynn and Facebook @CapiLynnSJ.

Lola R. McClure