WILMINGTON — Veteran activist and community leader William Franklin Harr, known to friends as “Frank,” passed away May 8 at the age of 56. Harr leaves behind his life-partner of 32 years, Ken Cox. The pair were mainstays of the local LGBT community.

Both men were founding members of Gay Resources of Wilmington (GROW) and active in the battle against AIDS, staunchly advocating for those living with the disease.

Frank and Ken founded and led Chef’s Care, an anticipated annual event that raises awareness and critical funds for AIDS services. Frank was also a founder of St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church and a founding member of the Stonewall Democrats.

“If anyone went down Dock St. over the years, they always had their Pride flag out, year-round, to make sure that anyone and everyone knew that there was a safe and welcome place,” said activist and OutWilmington Community Center founder Bo Dean. “The list of [Frank’s] bravery and activism is long. Citizen, American, Husband, Friend, Activist, Neighbor, Beloved Brother of all.”

Visitation was held May 9 at St. Jude’s MCC. A memorial service is planned for May 17 at 3 p.m., also to be held at the church, 19 N. 26th Street.

— Bo Dean contributed to this report.