Larry Gierer is described as a man who truly cared for his community.

“He put the passion in compassion,” said David Rafter, Public Information Officer for the City of Oakland Park. “He was energetic and served the city with pride and passion.”

Gierer, a former two-term Oakland Park Mayor, died Saturday at his home following a long illness. He was 60.

“Personally, I appreciate and am thankful for Larry’s compassionate and dedicated service to the people of Oakland Park,” wrote sitting Oakland Park Mayor Tim Lonergan in an email to SFGN. “He will be greatly missed!”

First elected to the City Commission in 2001, Gierer served twice as Mayor until his public service was term limited in 2009. He is remembered for spearheading several projects, most notably a commitment to performing and cultural arts programs.

“He was part of the team that brought us Oktoberfest, which has really become the city’s signature event,” said Rafter.

The current revitalization Oakland Park is experiencing, Rafter said, particularly around the Dixie Highway corridor is a result of Gierer’s vision.

“The fruit we enjoy today is because of the firm seeds Larry planted,” Rafter said.

Gierer’s impact extended to public safety where he served on the United Way’s substance abuse committee and championed a single sale initiative. The initiative, Rafter said, was an effort to “curb under age drinking and eliminate driving under the influence.”

Gierer is survived by his spouse, Carlos Lobo, his mother in St. Louis and numerous siblings, nieces and nephews.