Frank Whitmer was born May 1, 1954 in Los Alamos, New Mexico. From there, the family moved to California, where he attended school. After graduation, Frank attended the University of Washington. Frank then moved to Wichita, Kansas in the late 1980’s and went to work in television and radio advertising until he purchased Mort’s Cigar Bar in 2001. He was also one of the founding sponsors for the Officials Against Cancer Golf Tournament.
Franks officiating career started in 1992 with high school football and in 1993, he started refereeing high school basketball in the Wichita area. He was also a member of the Wichita Officials Association. Frank totaled nineteen career high school football seasons and eighteen
high school basketball seasons. He worked several state playoffs games and was an extremely respected official in the state. Frank’s motto was that “he was working a huge game “no matter what level or what location he was working.
His collegiate officiating career started in 1994 with football and in 1996 with basketball. He worked in both the KJCCC and the KCAC. Frank worked for seven years as a women’s basketball official and then refereed eight years on the men’s side in both college conferences. He worked as a field judge in football for the KJCCC and in the KCAC for sixteen years as well as in the MIAA for ten years. He was the referee and crew chief of his crews for the last six years in the KJCCC and KCAC. Frank officiated numerous conference championships in the KJCCC and one National Junior College National Championship. Frank also refereed the Professional Indoor Football league for thirteen years, all at the head lines position. He also worked AF2 football playoffs for four years and then the IFL Championship game in 2011 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This would be the last game that he would ever officiate. Frank was a great mentor and teacher to young officials and a leader in the KJCCC. He was also at the top of his game as an official in both high school and college at the time of his passing. His professionalism and passion for life made him a true friend and someone that was always there if you needed an ear to listen, particularly as a fellow official.
Frank also had many other things that he loved to do. He traveled with friends and family, especially as it pertained to golf, scuba diving, and Vegas trips. He was an avid motorcycle rider, plus he loved the theater and the arts, making others join him on these adventures.
Frank left behind members of his family: his mother, Flora and Jack Nessly of Wichita, Kansas; his sister, Joan Dawson of South Bend, Indiana, and a brother, John Whitmer of Wichita, Kansas.
Frank always had a fondness for his friends and doing things first class. We all miss him dearly.
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