|Community loses prominent business leader|
|June 13, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
Roger Frank, a lifelong resident of the valley, passed away on June 4 at the age of 66 after a years-long battle with cancer.
Frank could be described for his many talents. He was a businessman, a real estate developer and investor, as well as a philanthropist.
He started in the business world at the age of 26, when he took over Frank Implement Company, founded by his father, Herman in 1957. At the time he became the youngest John Deere dealership owner in the country.
His son Bryan has since followed him into the business and is now president of both Frank Implement and Frank Motors.
His life was far more expansive than just operating a successful business. Frank was instrumental in bringing several other businesses to the community – including Walmart, Home Depot and the Sonic restaurant in an area that was formerly farm ground.
Frank was also a driving force in the developing a number of properties. The Sears building and the refurbishing of two downtown buildings, Chiakos Brothers and Western Public Service, were a few of his projects. He also opened Holiday Inn Express hotels in both Scottsbluff and Torrington, which he owned and operated for 10 years.
People from throughout the community, from all walks of life, have described him as a kind man who never met a stranger. They said he touched many lives for the better in all he did.
“I’ve known Roger for some 30 or 40 years and admire all the things he’s done,” said Terrytown Mayor Kent Greenwalt. “He has been such an asset to the community it’s unbelievable. He was an all-around good guy and I’m sure going to miss him.”
Outside the business world, Frank was involved with the Scotts Bluff County Fair. As a member of the entertainment committee, he helped bring numerous major country acts to the area. He also had a strong commitment to cancer awareness and support programs, as well as youth education activities.
He also helped work on tax issues when the governor visited several years ago. He provided important input into how the state’s tax structure affected our local community.
Over the years, Frank was a collector of vintage cars and had a collection of about 100 of them. Last year, he offered one of his favorites, a 1955 Chevrolet two-door, for auction at a special Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas. The rare car sold for $100,000 with proceeds going to the local Festival of Hope and the Barrett-Jackson Cancer Research Fund.
Even with so many successes, he was happy to work behind the scenes rather than make a show of it.
Frank and his high school sweetheart, Connie, celebrated their 45th anniversary last year. They have three children: Jason, Bryan and Alyssa. He is grandfather to Jackson, Mitchell, Lincoln and Barrett Frank; and Herman, Chevy and Esprit Tinsley.
“We lost a great man who gave back so much to his community,” said Karen Anderson, executive director of the Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce. “He had a lot of vision for development and brought a lot of great things to our area.”