Franklin U. Gaugler, who stayed on the South Fork after being stationed in Montauk with the Coast Guard, eventually taking over the Blue Marlin restaurant in that hamlet, died at home in Bradenton, Fla., on Oct. 6. The cause was multiple cancers, his family said. He was 74.
He began working after hours at the Blue Marlin during his Coast Guard assignment. That second job turned into a 38-year career after he took an opportunity to buy the restaurant, which he upgraded and expanded with help from his second wife, the former Suzanne Brown, his family said.
Mr. Gaugler was born in Pottstown, Pa., on Dec. 5, 1937, to Franklin U. Gaugler and the former Harriet Wagner. He learned the hard-working and patriotic ethics of rural America while growing up there, his family said.
In the late 1990s, Mr. and Ms. Gaugler retired and moved full time to Bradenton, where they had kept a seasonal residence since 1984. He also bought a sportfishing boat, which he called the SuziQ, aboard which he explored the region of the Gulf Coast near where he lived.
In retirement, Mr. Gaugler continued with his interest in cooking, amassing a huge collection of recipes and cookbooks. His German shepherd, Lara, was a constant companion and comfort to him during his illness, his family said.
He was a member of the Masons Star of the East Lodge in East Hampton and the Elks Lodge 1511 in Bradenton, as well as the Moose Lodge there and the American Legion.
His second wife survives him, as do two daughters, Kim Gaugler of Stuart, Fla., and Dawn Mihocko of Hyde Park, N.Y., and a son, Wayne Gaugler of Southampton. Another son, Kent Gaugler, died in May. He also leaves 11 grandchildren.
Mr. Gaugler was cremated, and his ashes are to be spread at sea. His family suggested memorial donations to Florida Southeastern Guide Dogs, 4210 77th Street, East Palmetto, Fla. 34221, or to Tidewell Hospice online at tidewell.org.