Erwin’s Jewelers Owner Frank Kumor Dies

Frank Joseph Kumor (pictured), the owner of Erwin’s Jewelers Co. in Bellevue, Neb., and a mainstay of the local community, died of COVID-19 on Dec. 4. He was 71.

Erwin’s Jewelers Co. is temporarily closed; according to a Nov. 19 Facebook post, all the store’s staff members had contracted COVID, and some were in the hospital.

Following Kumor’s passing, locals filled the streets to pay respects during his funeral procession and placed flowers and notes outside his store, reported the Omaha World-Herald.

“He had a big heart for people down on their luck, he was always willing to lend a hand,” Kumor’s son Joe told the newspaper. “I don’t think any of us know how many people he helped out. He was very good about helping people and not talking about it. Piles of people would tell me, ‘Tell your dad thank you, he really helped me out when I needed a ring and didn’t have any money.’ ”

According to a family obituary, Kumor grew up on a farm near North Platte, Neb. He got his start in the jewelry business while still in high school, when he was hired to wash windows by a local jeweler, Bonny Jurado, through a 4-H program.

After high school, he enrolled in watchmaking and jewelry repair classes, and served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. In 1970, he married his first wife, Peggy.

Following completion of his Air Force service and jewelry education, Kumor was hired by local jeweler Erwin Dreibus to work at Erwin’s Jewelers Co. in Bellevue. When Dreibus retired in 1989, Kumor took over the store.

He was known for community involvement. He served on the Bellevue School Board, as well as the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors and the Olde Towne Task Force, and was president of the Olde Town Merchant’s Association.

Bellevue Public Schools superintendent Jeff Rippe told the Omaha World-Herald that Kumor genuinely cared about the local public schools and served on the board for “all the right reasons.”

“He truly cared and did everything he could, financially and emotionally, to support our students and staff,” he said.

Kumor was predeceased by his first wife, Peggy, who died in 1998. He is survived by his second wife, Pat; seven children; two stepchildren; two siblings; 31 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in his memory to the Bellevue Public Schools Foundation, which is establishing a memorial fund for Kumor in his name; the Sarpy County Museum; or the Bellevue Food Pantry.

(Image from the Bellevue Memorial Funeral Chapel)

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JCK News Director

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