Frank Edward Lembi

  • Born: April 28, 1918
  • Died: March 5, 2019
  • Location: Burlingame, California

Crosby-N. Gray & Co. - FD-96

2 Park Road
Burlingame, CA 94010

Tel. (650) 342-6617

Tribute & Message From The Family


April 28, 1918 - March 5, 2019
Frank Edward Lembi passed away at home surrounded by his family on March 5th, at nearly 101 years old for his upcoming birthday on 4-28-19. A great visionary of San Francisco's Skyline Realty is gone, marking the end of an era that began with the veterans returning home from WWII.

Frank E. Lembi, a.k.a. F.E.L. by family and colleagues lived an amazing life. A native of San Francisco, the eldest son to his Italian immigrant parents, Orlando and Ida (Bedini) Lembi at their home on York St. during WWI. He lived through the Great Depression and was taught his hard work ethic by working at his parent's grocery store on upper Market St. He and his father were also bootleggers during Prohibition. This was the beginning of his life-long dedication to hard work which he instilled in his own family.

On May 15th 1940, at age 22 Frank was "out for blood" in the AMS Fights at the Coliseum Bowl to fight Bud Calloway. "Into the land of sweet dreams, is belligerent Frank Lembi"
F.E.L. won this fight and never went back in the ring honoring his mother's wishes. He was and always will be The Champ!

During WWII, Frank not only served as a Tech Sargent in the pharmacy department in both the European and the Pacific Theatres, but also was present as a medic in Hiroshima during the Japanese surrender after the dropping of the atomic bomb. Those who heard his war stories listened intently and with respect honoring him.

Returning to San Francisco to his beloved wife Olga in 1946. Later they made a home in Burlingame with their four children. Frank built a real estate empire: Skyline Realty with nothing but a fearless entrepreneurial spirit and the money from his GI Bill. "LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION" was FEL's motto. "I did it myself and never listened to anyone. I was successful. Think BIG!"

With his son Walter Lembi, beginning in the 1970's and his longtime partner Billie Salevouris he expanded his holdings in SF to include Continental Savings of America, Home Owners Finance, and CitiApartments, which at its peak in 2008 made him the largest single owner of apartments in San Francisco.

With his daughter Yvonne Lembi Detert, together father and daughter created Personality Hotels, SF's first boutique hotel company of eight hotels on Union Square. With his grandson Damon Lembi he started LearnIT, now the largest computer training company in Northern California. His daughters Francine Lembi Jack and Lisa Lembi Sayed also served the family as trustees and advisors to the family businesses.

At Frank's 100th Birthday last April 28th, his family, his friends and past agents got together to honor him at The City Club of San Francisco. Everyone shared stories about how F.E.L. and his son ran the best real estate school in San Francisco. Others honored him and thanked him for all he did to help them in business as well as lifelong friendships. This was the true celebration of life for F.E.L. and as he said "It's been a long journey with some sorrow, but mostly joy!"
Frank loved to travel. He took his family and grandchildren on extraordinary and breathtaking journeys to see the world on planes, trains and luxury cruises, always with that elegant F.E.L. style. "Familia" was the love he had for his family. Vino, bread sticks, and a family dinner were always what F.E.L. wanted. Salute!
Frank is survived by his three daughters and devoted son in laws, Francine and Ian Jack, Lisa and Gary Sayed and Yvonne and Marc Detert, his 11 grandchildren & four great grandchildren. He was always surrounded by his family, as well as his loving home caregivers, Gwen, Ella & Beth, Virginia the Cardiac Case Manager at Mission Hospice, and his nurse and past business partner Sharon Youngberg of Medical Care Professionals. They are true testament to his long healthy life.
There will only be a memorial. Services will be held at Crosby-N-Gray & Co. at 3:00PM on Tuesday March 19th at 2 Park Road Burlingame.
In lieu of flowers F.E.L. would want it his way by requesting donations to The Salvation Army because they always greeted him in WWII with hot coffee & donuts Or to Mission Hospice Home Care San Mateo for the health care and dedication they gave to our father.