Former numismatic literature dealer Fred L. Lake, a longtime fixture
for the Florida
United Numismatists, died Dec. 25 at the Bay Pines Veterans
Administration Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Mr. Lake was 87.
According to FUN Convention Coordinator Cindy Wibker, Mr. Lake had
served on the FUN board of directors for 18 years, but also served the
organization in many other capacities.
“He was our head photographer, placed directional signage in the
halls, and kept the educational programs running on schedule,” Wibker
said. “He wore many hats and did a bang-up job for FUN. Mostly, he was
fun to be around. He had a wonderful sense of humor, had a quick wit,
and was very intelligent. I could always depend on him to be a voice
of reason in board meetings. He was famous for making a motion that
our board meetings adjourn, and we’ll all miss him greatly. I talked
to him several weeks ago and he was very happy with his long and
healthy life and had no regrets. Just an awesome man.”
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While Mr. Lake’s collecting habits centered on early American copper
coins, his numismatic reputation became widespread on May 17, 1989,
when he conducted his first mail-bid sale offering numismatic
literature under the firm name Function Associates, based in
Marshfield, Mass., before eventually moving to Florida. The firm’s
name was changed to Lake Books in May 2000. Mr. Lake conducted a
combined total of 125 sales.
Fellow numismatic bookseller Alan Workman recalls that Mr. Lake
traveled extensively in search of consignments during his tenure as a
numismatic literature dealer. Mr. Lake also frequently distributed
books and catalogs for free at coin shows he attended.
In addition to FUN, Mr. Lake was a member of the American Numismatic
Association, Numismatic Bibliomania Society and Early American Coppers.
A native of Boston, Mr. Lake earned a degree from Middlebury College
in Vermont. His grandfather, also named Fred L. Lake, was the seventh
manager of the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team 1908 to 1909.
A U.S. Marine Corps reservist following World War II, Mr. Lake
transferred to active duty with the 2nd Marine Division in 1952
following his college graduation. Mr. Lake completed his tour of duty
in 1958, having advanced to the rank of captain and command of an
Mr. Lake pursued a career in hospitality management and ownership in
New England before venturing into the numismatic literature field.
Mr. Lake is survived by his wife, Joan, whom he married in 1977.