KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 16, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy’s Frank Bielec, of TLC’s Trading Spaces fame, passed away Friday after complications from a heart attack. Last month, Frank reunited virtually with his Trading Spaces cast members to greet fans. But to Katy, he was more than a reality TV star. His friendly and joyful community presence will be greatly missed.
Photo: Katy Magazine
Star Called Katy Home
Frank Bielec suffered a heart attack on Thursday. According to his wife Judy he was moved from a Katy hospital to one in Houston for a specialized procedure. He passed away Friday due to complications from the heart attack.
Many residents of Katy recognized Frank from the well-known TV show and were directly impacted by the kindness of their local celebrity.
City of Katy Mayor Bill Hastings fondly remembered Frank.
"He was one of those guys who was always smiling and had something uplifting and funny to say," remembers Mayor Hastings. "He was the 'star' of the Katy community. He will be greatly missed."
A Family Man
Frank is survived by his wife Judy of 31 years, their son Matt, and grandchildren Mason and Ava.
Friend and fellow Trading Spaces designer, Vern Yip shared the news of Frank’s passing.
Owned 'Mosey 'N Me' with Wife
Frank lived in Katy with his wife Judy. The couple founded Mosey 'N Me in 1989, which specializes in floral design, painting, greeting cards, cross-stitch patterns and more.
Frank held a master’s degree in art and loved sharing his passion with others. He started his career as a first-grade teacher and taught art and social studies. He left teaching over frustrations of too many tests and not enough experimental learning.
Frank was loved by many around the nation due to his popularity on TV, but he called Katy home. He was a florist for 20 years and was known for creating incredible arrangements.
Frank’s rise to fame was unexpected but no shock to those who loved him, as his big personality was easy to love. While at a convention Frank stepped in for a demonstrator, who had fallen ill. The wise-cracking Frank caught the attention of many, including a Home & Garden TV producer. Frank then had a few guest appearances on HGTV but then found his way to Trading Spaces. Frank debuted in the show as part of the original cast.
From TLC Network
From Co-Star Ty Pennington
Starring in Trading Spaces Reboot
Frank starred on the show until its cancelation in 2009. He enjoyed the simple premise of the program - homeowners would swap houses and one designer/carpenter combo would decorate a room. Frank would add his personal touch to each room he decorated, often hand painted designs onto the walls or furniture. He always let his creative touch on each project.
However, as the show went on, producers started to add more drama and stunts that Frank publicly disliked.
In 2018, Trading Spaces had a reboot and Frank was excited to be back. Despite the recent quarantine and the stop in production, he joined the cast in a Zoom chat to surprise fans and also wish co-star, Hildi Santo-Tomas a happy birthday.
Frank enjoyed his Katy life. Although his pet peeve was the concept of Old Katy and New Katy. “We’re all just one Katy,” he’d often say.
In 2018, Frank was featured as on of Katy Magazine's Top 100 Men.
"I had the pleasure of meeting Frank many times throughout the years," recalls Katrina Katsarelis, publisher of Katy Magazine. "Underneath his witty wisecracks and hilarious sense of humor was a very kind man with a heart of gold. He was an incredibly talented artist too."
Photo: Katy Magazine
Frank worked for Katy House of Flowers for a short while.
“He truly was a breath of fresh air,” says owner Cecilia Majewski-Crutcher. “I truly will not forget the times we spent together and laughed so hard during stressful times. My friend you will truly be missed but never forgotten. Thank you for the memories.”
Frank would often eagerly assist residents when they were lucky to bump into him at the Home Depot. He was also recognized while giving demonstrations at local grocery stores. He was eager to help customers and give tips about his favorite products, and how to use them, while delivering witty banter.
Steven Steller worked with Frank at H-E-B when he hosted the "Cooking Connection" there. He said he was amazed by Frank's ability to create and connect with people.
"He was a character, whom I’ve looked up to," remembers Steller. "He always found a way to make people laugh even if they were having an off day. That smile is contagious. I know he’s touched many lives, including mine. My condolences are with him, his friends, and his family. I’ll continue to picture you with that same smile, may you rest peacefully."
Chris Harris, City of Katy Mayor Pro Tem, said Katy was Frank’s adopted hometown. He said Frank was a Katy Tiger’s sports fan and loved exchanging game stories or stats from the newspaper.
“Frank never met a stranger,” says Harris. “He got his haircut downtown, ate at Snappy’s, and you might see him drinking coffee in downtown Katy enjoying chatting with fans and friends passing by. He was a regular around town, we will miss seeing him."