Saturday, May 26, 2018
News Roundup

St. Pete Beach's Frank Hurley remembered as a true gentleman

ST. PETE BEACH — He was a journalist, a historian, an author, a sketch artist, a real estate broker, a former city commissioner — but most people remember Frank T. Hurley Jr. best as a true gentleman who always had a kind word and who was quick to help his friends.

Dr. Ammette Bazian, a lifelong friend, said she developed a crush on Hurley at the tender age of 7 when visiting her uncle, a friend of Hurley's father, in the early 1960s.

At the time, Hurley was in his 30s and would frequently come to her house to eat a breakfast of bananas, Ovaltine and wheat germ.

"He was knowledgeable, personable, worldly, successful and down-to-earth all at the same time. He was a wonderful, lovely man," Bazian said, recalling how he would frequently tease her. "I never expected that he would ever die. He was bigger than life."

Hurley, 89, died Wednesday at the Brentwood Senior Living Community in St. Petersburg after a long illness.

"My strongest memory of Frank is meeting him on the beach where we would talk and reminisce about the town and its history," said Spencer Lucas, who also had known Hurley from his childhood.

Hurley also was a devoted swimmer, dipping into the Gulf of Mexico every day.

Lucas, who is president of the Friends of the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, collaborated with him on many of Hurley's history projects.

Hurley wrote several books about the city: Pass-a-Grille Vignettes: Times Past, Tales Remembered, and Surf, Sand and Postcard Sunsets: A History of Pass-a-Grille and the Gulf Beaches, as well as a book containing a collection of his sketches. Hurley donated his books to the museum, which continues to publish them.

Hurley's brother, Ken, remembers how Hurley refused to give up his 50-year-old Royal typewriter, which he used for all his writing.

Ralph Lickton, a designer who specializes in historic houses, credits Hurley with helping him to establish his business in Pass-a-Grille.

"He began referring clients to me in the 1960s," Lickton said.

When Lickton fought against over-development in nearby Tierra Verde, Hurley helped with research about endangered historical Indian sites.

Hurley served on the St. Petersburg Beach City Commission in the mid 1960s, and remained active throughout his life in numerous community organizations and historic boards.

Melinda Pletcher, a current city commissioner who also works in Hurley's real estate office, recalled how Hurley emphasized "how important it was to maintain relationships with industry professionals."

Former Mayor Mike Finnerty remembers the Christmas parties at Hurley's office.

"He would sit in the corner in his rocking chair and would always have a story or make you laugh," Finnerty said.

Harry Metz, a former city commissioner, said Hurley "was Pass-a-Grille and loved its history. Now, if that history isn't written down, it will be gone with Frank."

Although Hurley was born in Washington, D.C., served in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II in the Pacific Theater, and lived and worked as a journalist for several years in both St. Petersburg at the Evening Independent and at several papers in California, St. Pete Beach, and more specifically Pass-a-Grille, was his true home.

In 1964, Hurley took over his father's real estate business in Pass-a-Grille, Frank T. Hurley Associates.

But he continued to write, penning book after book about the history of Pass-a-Grille.

"My uncle was always a newspaper man and was a staunch advocate of beaches," said Sean Hurley, who now runs Hurley's real estate office.

Hurley gave up his lifelong bachelorhood at the age of 73 when he married his wife, Betty, a close friend for more than 25 years.

Jay Anderson, a close friend, recalls how Hurley and his wife would walk holding hands in the mornings in Pass-a-Grille.

"He would joke that they weren't holding hands. They were holding each other up," Anderson said. "They were the cutest couple. She was the love of his life."

In addition to his wife, Hurley is survived by his brother, Ken, as well as by his nephew, Sean, and his niece, Kathleen, and their children.

Nearly 100 people attended the Sunset Bell Ringing ceremony at the Paradise Grille on Thursday to honor Hurley's passing.

A viewing will be held at the Beach Memorial Chapel, 301 Corey Avenue next week. The date and time will be announced on the chapel's website: beachmemorial.com.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 1901 62nd Ave S, St. Petersburg.

Comments
Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

I may have cracked the code. Found a way to sell doing the right thing. Discovered a method of persuasion in certain matters of fairness, conscience and the greater good.Like giving our fellow Americans a second chance.When morality-based arguments d...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

It’s human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

TAMPA — Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriff’s deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Updated: 7 hours ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 9 hours ago