Published: March 11, 2008
Veteran Florida auctioneer and antique dealer Frank Speal Jr, 65, of Frank’s Antiques died February 17 at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, Fla. Born in 1943 in Latrobe, Penn., Speal moved to Hilliard in the 1950s while still in his teens.
After graduating from high school, he traveled the East Coast as far north as Brimfield, Mass., searching for interesting knives and advertising material to sell in flea markets. On one of his trips he met Barbara Woods of Daytona Beach, Fla., and invited her back to Hilliard. She and Speal were married in 1972 and opened their retail antiques business in Hilliard in 1973.
While maintaining his retail business, Speal began his auction career in 1977, enrolling in the Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in High Point, N.C. He eventually built his own auction facility in Hilliard and conducted regular events there, usually on the first Sunday of every month, as well as in North Carolina.
Speal was recognized as an expert in country store merchandise and antique advertising material, especially petroliana, bringing a pleasant mix of fresh merchandise, good fun and honesty to the business.
He is survived by his wife Barbara Ann Speal, daughters Heather McMannes and Kellie Heinemann, son Steven Speal, and two grandchildren: Sarah Tripp and Kevin Boyhan.
Mass of Christian burial was held Wednesday, February 20, at Our Lady of Consolation with Father Ralph Besendorfer officiating. Internment was in Oakwood Cemetery, in Hilliard.