Frank Galos, longtime owner of Frank Galos Chevrolet and Cadillac of Saco and a leader in Maine’s auto-sales industry for decades, died May 8 after a long illness. He was 90.

Mr. Galos began his career in the automobile industry around 1954, selling cars at a dealership in New York. By 1960, Galos and his business partner, Ed Byrnes, started a dealership on Alfred Street in Biddeford called Ed and Frank Chevrolet. The partners flipped a coin to decide whose name came first.

They later bought land in Saco and moved the dealership to its current location on Portland Road. They also opened another dealership in Dover, New Hampshire. In 1970, the partnership dissolved and Byrnes took over the dealership in Dover.

Frank Galos Chevrolet and Cadillac of Saco was the first of many auto dealerships to spring up on the busy section of Route 1 known as the “auto mile.”

His son, Mark Galos of Saco, who operates the business with his brother J. Scott Galos of Windham, credits his father for their success. Over the years, the Saco dealership has sold well over 100,000 vehicles, Mark Galos said.

“He trained his boys very well,” his son said. “He was an honest man … very smart, very driven and very sincere. He liked the action. Yeah, he did. … There was really nothing to hide with him. He would always do the right thing. It led him to become very successful.”

Randy Miller, owner and president of Newcastle, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram, said Mr. Galos was a “phenomenal person” who did a lot for his customers and the community.

“It wasn’t about the money with Frank,” Miller said. “It was about friendship, taking care of people and being a good dealer to his customers.”

Mr. Galos turned the business over to his sons when his health began to decline.

Outside work, he was a loving husband to his wife, Joan Galos, for 54 years. The couple lived in Kennebunk, where they raised four children. His wife died in 2009. They had two daughters – Susan Galos Eason, who died in 1985, and Nancy Galos Safford, who died in 2013.

Mr. Galos was remembered by his son this week as a “loving father and good mentor.” In the years and months since his daughters died, friends have stayed in touch with him. Mark Galos said Mr. Galos was like a second father to many people.

“He was wonderful. He really was,” his son said. “You’d never see him get mad. He was a really cool cat, so to speak. … I couldn’t have asked for a better father.”

Mr. Galos and his wife wintered in Fort Myers, Florida, for 30 years.

He enjoyed collecting coins, taking care of his dogs and watching football with his sons.

“I would salute him every time I would leave. He would salute me back,” his son said. “He had a super sense of humor. He was funny. I’ll miss his friendship. We were not only father and son, but we were working partners and we were friends.”

Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]

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