VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Frank Galatolie, credited for creating the beloved Sour Patch Kids candy, died in Charleston, N.C. on Oct. 22. The former Valley Stream resident was 74 years old.

“My father was one of the strongest people I have ever known. He was always there for me, and he loved being around people,” Scott Galatolie, his son, posted on Facebook. “His life was filled with great friends, great experiences and great opportunities.”

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Galatolie is credited for creating the sweet-and-sour candy, originally known as “Mars Men” in the early 1970s — while working as a confectioner at Jaret International. The product was later re-branded to “Sour Patch Kids,” in the mid-1980s.

More: A History Of Sour Patch Kids 

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Galatolie’s cause of death was not immediately known.

“I watched him fight with many health issues over the years, but I am now able to say that he is at peace and able to relax,” Scott Galatolie said on his Facebook page.

A memorial service will be held for Galatolie in Charleston on Monday.

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