The Life of Frank J. Kumor as Told by His Family

photo credit: Omaha World Herald
Frank Kumor in his jewelry store in Olde Towne Bellevue, Erwin’s Jewelry, in 2019.

November 27, 1949 – December 4, 2020

Frank grew up on a farm west of North Platte, Nebraska. He got his start in the jewelry and watch repair business when he was still in high school. Through a 4-H program, he was hired by North Platte’s local jeweler, Bonny Jurado, to wash the windows and engrave trophies. He began to learn the ins and outs of jewelry and pursued this passion after his high school graduation by enrolling in classes at a watchmaking and jewelry repair school in Kansas City. He got more than he bargained for as this is where he met and fell in love with his first wife, Peggy. (Often referred to as his “Kansas City Kitty”.) They were married on May 1, 1970.

This was during the Vietnam era, and Frank completed his Air Force basic training in August 1970 at Lackland Air Force Base. In December of 1970, he was certified as an Aircraft Maintenance Specialist in turbo-prop aircraft. Visits to the SAC Aerospace Museum could result in hours of storytelling. At one point in his Air Force career, he could identify every aircraft in service at that time by the sound of the engine alone.

After his Air Force service was completed, he finished his watch repair and jewelry training. Upon graduation he was hired by Erwin Dreibus to work at Erwin’s Jewelry in Bellevue. Frank, Peggy, and their young son Brent moved to Bellevue in 1975, and it was there they completed their family, adding Rebecca, Joe, Elizabeth, Ben, John and Andrew. Frank’s participation in the community increased along with the size of his family.

When Frank assumed ownership of Erwin’s in 1989 after Erwin’s retirement, his investment in the community grew. It’s difficult to think of a civic organization in Bellevue that Frank did not participate in, but he contributed significantly as part of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, the Olde Towne Task Force, and served as president of the Olde Town Merchant’s Association. Frank’s impact included Offutt AFB where his support was especially felt in the 343d Reconnaissance Squadron, where he served as the Co-Commander for 15 years. He was part of everything from organizing the Christmas light displays to making sure the trash cans along Mission Avenue were emptied.

Peggy died in 1998, and while she couldn’t be replaced, Frank was lucky enough to meet one special woman who brought a new joy into his life, and he and Pat were married on March 11, 2001. Pat’s two children, David and Kim, made family gatherings complete.

Frank was elected to the Bellevue Public School Board in 2002 and continued his public service. As a member of the Bellevue Public School Board, he also served on the Bellevue Public Schools Foundation Board. Frank loved the Bellevue Public School District and was one of the biggest supporters of the youth in our community.

By this time he was selling wedding rings to children of parents who had bought their wedding rings from Frank in the 70’s. It seems everyone in Bellevue who walked into Erwin’s Jewelry has a story about Frank and his easy ability to connect with everyone and put them at ease. He believed in giving back to the community that had given him so much. He will be missed.

A special Frank Kumor Memorial Scholarship Fund has been created in his honor. Thank you to the many friends, family and supporters who have donated to the BPS Foundation in Frank’s memory.

Donations to the Frank Kumor Memorial Scholarship Fund are still being accepted online HERE or can be mailed to BPS Foundation at 2820 Arboretum Drive, Suite 600, Bellevue, NE 68005. Please reference the Frank Kumor Memorial Scholarship Fund on your check.

A True Champion for Children: BPS Foundation Remembers Frank Kumor 

Frank Kumor, pillar of the Bellevue community, was a loving husband, a proud father, a successful business owner, a dedicated Bellevue School Board member, and a great friend to many. Sadly, Frank passed away from complications of COVID-19 on December 4, 2020.

With the blessing of the Kumor family, the City of Bellevue and the Bellevue Public Schools along with a great amount of assistance from the Bellevue Police and Fire Departments organized a funeral procession route that gave members of the Bellevue community a chance to wave goodbye to Frank before he was laid to rest at the Bellevue Cemetery.

The community that loved Frank was eager to share thoughts and memories, which were captured here in these Omaha World Herald articles. 

Bellevue mourns loss of Frank Kumor
Omaha World Herald Article, December 16, 2020

Bellevue Residents Line Streets to Honor Frank Kumor Who Died of COVID
Omaha World Herald, December 9

Photos: Bellevue Remembers Frank Kumor
Omaha World Herald