David Queller passed away on December 24, 2014, at age 93
Our thanks to David Queller's family for providing Heritage with the biography and photos that appear below.
David was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1921 and later lived in Woodmere, NY and Springfield, NJ, before retiring in 1997 from his industrial supply business. He spent his last 17 years enjoying sunshine, coins, and golf in Boca Raton, Florida.
As a child of the depression, David found that what he'd get from life, he'd have to earn. He learned early how to be successful. When times got tough, and his family needed to put food on the table, he worked selling magazine subscriptions, shining shoes for free (because he'd make more money in tips than he would charging a fee), and then finally quit school to work in his father's hardware store. After a hard day toiling in the city, David would return to Brooklyn for night school, where he studied until World War II broke out.
His perseverance in his studies allowed him to gain access to naval officer training school, where he was able to spend the war studying engineering at Columbia University, Denison University, and the University of New Mexico. When the war ended, he declined the opportunity to become an officer and instead headed home to Brooklyn. There, he began to formulate a business plan that would allow him to take the foundation of his father's retail hardware store and transform it into a wholesale warehouse supplying the postwar economy of New York with high-quality industrial tools. The business flourished and allowed a good life for his family and his employees.
David's passion for collecting began at an early age. As a boy at the onset of commercial air travel, David collected first day covers of inaugural postal routes. Later in life, David's interest in collecting was reawakened when he took his family on a trip to Israel shortly after the Six Day War in 1967. New medals were being issued and he quickly collected them all. Back in New York he began a long relationship with the Stack brothers who started him down the road of researching and collecting United States coinage.
For the next 40 years, David's passion for collecting U.S. coins knew no bounds. He collected every denomination, business and proof strikes, patterns and commemoratives. His two most satisfying endeavors were his complete collection of U.S. dollars 1794-1935, including his pride and joy, the Mickley-Hawn-Queller specimen of the 1804 dollar, which he owned together with his family from 1994 until Heritage auctioned it for a record price in 2008. The other feather in his cap was the Lemus Collection of patterns, which he named for his wife, Libbie Lemus, and which featured many rarities including the 1792 silver cent (Judd #1) and both gilt and bronzed half unions. David became an expert in the field and felt the special joy of culmination when Heritage's superb auction catalogues of his collection were printed, becoming references on the coins he enjoyed so well.
David is survived by Libbie, his wife of 67 years and his four children, Robin, Harriet, Howard and Sherry, and nine grandchildren.