September 21, 1923 to March 13, 2022
We were sorry to learn of Gerry Frank’s passing on March 13, 2022, aged 98. Gerry was born on September 21, 1923 in Portland to Aaron and Ruth Frank. They lived in SW Portland and Gerry attended Ainsworth and Lincoln High School. In the 1920s, his parents bought the Frank Farm property here in Garden Home (now the Frank Estate condos) so that they could send their show horses to events around the nation. Aaron Frank had a siding developed beside the railroad tracks, near the Firlock Station train stop, now SW 78th Avenue. They could then load the horses into the special cars to travel to California or New York’s Madison Square Garden and elsewhere. The Frank Farm was part of the “horse culture” in Garden Home, along with the Hunt Club, and the two riding academies, all along SW Oleson Road, south of the school.
Our first interview with Gerry was in 2010 when Virginia Vanture and I met with Gerry in his two-room office in Salem. His walls were covered with photos of him meeting with various world leaders, part of his role as Chief of Staff for our U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield for twenty years. His family began the Meier & Frank Department store and he was the Manager of the first store in Salem. He served in Patton’s Third Army during WWII, and helped liberate the first concentration camp in Ohrduff, Germany.
Our Gerry Frank story tells the incredible story of Gerry’s life and his commitment to Oregon and to our nation. See our display memorializing Gerry in the Garden Home Community Library. He has honored us with the gift of 50 special horse photographs and the guest book with hundreds of names from the notable Frank Farm stables here in Garden Home.