ST. PETE BEACH — Frank T. Hurley, Jr., the go-to guy for any information on the history of Pass-a-Grille, died Wednesday morning after a long illness.
Mr. Hurley, 89, was a virtual legend in St. Pete Beach, where he served on the City Commission for two terms, owned and operated a real estate agency, Frank T. Hurley Associates, that today is one of the oldest continually operating business on the beaches.
He was active for many years in his community, and in 2009 received a formal proclamation from the city, changing the name of the Pass-a-Grille Shuffleboard Building to the Frank T. Hurley Jr. Building to honor his contributions to the city.
Mr. Hurley wrote several books about the city where he lived for most of his life: Pass-a-Grille Vignettes: Times Past, Tales Remembered, published in 1999; and Surf, Sand and Postcard Sunsets: A History of Pass-a-Grille and the Gulf Beaches, published in 1977 and about to go into its fourth edition printing.
"He wanted to write another book about Fort Brooke in Tampa, but his quality of life was so bad at the end he wasn't able to finish it," his brother, Ken, said Wednesday.
Mr. Hurley also worked as a journalist, including as a reporter for the St. Petersburg Evening Independent, and served in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1943-46. He chaired the Pinellas Historical Commission, the Traffic Safety Council and the St. Pete Beach Historical Preservation Board.
Mr. Hurley is survived by his wife, Betty; his brother, Ken; a nephew, Sean; and a niece, Kathleen. A memorial service is being planned and will be announced in the next several days.