16 March, 1936 - 16 April, 2020
Obituary: The man many know affectionately as "The Hotdog Man" has died, but not without leaving behind a legacy and name many across Hawke's Bay will remember for a long time.
Frank Gerbes died peacefully on Thursday, aged 84.
Frank was the epitome of what it means to work hard. He was born in 1936 and left school at a young age.
But his desire to make something of himself in life saw him get an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker and carpenter aged only 14.
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With his skills and trade he then went on to join a travelling show as a general "fix-it" man and during that time met and married wife Violet.
"I was 11 the first time I met him and he had come down to do a bit of work on the ferris wheel and I was helping out at the ticket booth and he always had a sweet tooth and I had a bag of lollies, so that's how it started," his wife of 60 years said on Monday.
"He just stayed by me after that, and up till now he was still buying me sweets even though I'm diabetic."
In 1975 they settled in Flaxmere where they started Gala Caterers.
The business grew and became a well-known staple at A&P Shows, speedways and other sports and community events across the central North Island.
The couple's generosity was also well known, with them having helped and supported numerous schools and community events over many years.
Violet said that over the years, Frank was always there for people and giving a hand wherever he could.
"We made an effort to always help those locally and hired from the local communities to support them and to this day, even though they have moved on with partners and kids some of them, we have always remained in touch," she said.
Their youngest son Dean, based in Feilding, now runs the majority of the operations but Frank still made sure he went along and stayed involved.
"Even up until recent times he still played a big a part of the shows we went to, which is going to make it different when he isn't there anymore."
Frank leaves behind not only Violet but there four children Yvonne, Robert, Linda and Dean, along with four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
As required during this time, a private cremation has been held for Frank with a celebration of his life to be held at a later stage.
"He never wanted to have a big funeral or ceremony but to just be remembered as a good man," Violet said.
"After all this is cleared we will hold a bit of a remembrance for him because even though he might not admit it he touched a lot of people over his time."