Margrit Hildegard Frank, age 88, passed away on May 24, 2018.
Visitation will be on Friday (June 1) from 2 to 4 p.m.and 6 to 8 p.m. at the LaMarche Funeral Home, 35 Main St., Hammondsport, NY and Mass of Christian burial at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, 78 Shether St., Hammondsport, Saturday (June 2) 10 a.m. Internment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 95 NY – 54, Bath, will follow the mass.
Donations can be made in the name of Margrit Frank to the Keuka Comfort Care Home in Penn Yan, NY (315-536-1690).
Margrit was born to Magdalene and Gerhard Totzke in Hamburg Germany on September 3, 1929 and immigrated to America shortly after her 25th birthday. Soon after arriving in New York she gained a reputation as a highly sought-after seamstress, creating dresses for fashion models and wealthy individuals. She married Willibald Frank (deceased), her husband of almost 50 years, on April 14, 1956 and began to build their life together. Margrit and Willy raised their two children, Frederick and Barbara, on Long Island during a time when Willy’s father, Konstantin Frank, was building the family winery in the Finger Lakes of NY. In the late 1970s, Margrit and Willy purchased a plot of land on Seneca Lake and began to develop their own vineyards. Margrit made many sacrifices as she worked side by side with Willy on the farm tending to the vines. They finally moved up to Hammondsport to create their own winery, Chateau Frank, focusing on world class sparkling wine. As Konstantin’s health began to decline, they took on greater responsibility in managing the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery.
During those years, Margrit worked in the vineyard and winery while also managing their home. Although her work played an important part of her life, her first priority was always to her family. She also continued to sew dresses for friends and family, including wedding dresses for her daughter and daughter-in-law, all of the bridesmaids’ dresses, as well as dresses for her granddaughters throughout the years. As the winery’s reputation was growing, Margrit would entertain many important guests in their home and delight them with her excellent cooking and warm personality. In 2016, in her honor, the winery created the “Margrit” Single Vineyard Riesling as a tribute to her lifetime of dedication and contributions to the Dr. Frank winery. But setting aside all she did and all the things she accomplished, the essence of Margrit was her warmth, her kindness, her generosity of spirit and her good heartedness.
Margrit is survived by her son, Frederick and wife, Maryclaire of Hammondsport, N.Y.; daughter, Barbara and husband, Richard Guior of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; grandchildren Meaghan, Gretchen, Kyle, Sonia and Alex; sister, Heidi Schulta of Sherman, Conn.; numerous nieces and nephews and their offspring; and many, many beloved friends.