Beloved Hermiston mayor passes away, but will be honored - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Beloved Hermiston mayor passes away, but will be honored

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HERMISTON, OR - Former Hermiston Mayor Frank Harkenrider - known as Mr. Hermiston around the community - passed away at 90 years old on Monday night, leaving behind more than 50 years of his legacy.

Reporter Jaclyn Selesky spoke with a few people today who say Harkenrider was a landmark character in Hermiston. His family was one of the first families in Hermiston, watching the city grow from hundreds to thousands of people.

Harkenrider's dad was also one of the first mayors, and he certainly filled those shoes. He was on the city council and a mayor several times over, having a memorable career spanning more than five decades. But to those who live in Hermiston, he was much more than a political figure.

"He was not afraid to go out and work shoulder-to-shoulder with anybody, and it didn't matter if it was hot or it was cold," said Hermiston resident Tom White. "He would do anything to help the city, help the people. He was all about the city of Hermiston, period."

One of the latest projects going up in Hermiston will have his name on it. The city council wanted to do something special for Harkenrider, so they're naming a senior center after him. It will be called The Harkenrider Community Center, and it's under construction right now. It should be complete in April of 2018.

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