In Memory

Beverly B. Bloom (Fellman) VIEW PROFILE

Oct 18, 1941 - Dec 31, 2015

Beverly B. Fellman passed away on Thursday, December 31, 2015, from cancer after a lengthy illness. She was 74 years old. She is survived by her husband Richard Fellman; and her 4 children, Dr. Susan and her husband Dr. Isaac Witkowski of Omaha, Deborah Fellman of Los Angeles CA, Jon Fellman and his wife Michelle of Wilmette IL, and Rabbi Daniel Fellman and his wife Melissa of Syracuse NY. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren, Gabby and Julian Witkowski of Omaha, Anna, Samantha, and Andy Fellman of Wilmette, and Zachary, Jacob, and Elizabeth Fellman of Syracuse; her brother Brent Bloom of Omaha and his wife Rebecca; and her sisters and brothers-in-law, Arlene Bloom of Potomac MD, Naomi Bloom of Dallas TX, Jane Pickus of Highland Park IL, Tom and Darlynn Fellman, and Nancy Rips of Omaha. She was predeceased by her parents, Dina and Harold Bloom of Omaha; and her brothers, Dr. Bruce Bloom of Washington D.C., and Dr. Bernard Bloom of Dallas TX.

On January 12th, she would have celebrated her 52nd wedding anniversary. Bev graduated from Omaha Central High School, where she was a National Merit Finalist; attended Ohio State University; and graduated from the University of Omaha, where she received honors in French. In later years she earned a Masters Degree in Educational Administration at UNO. Following her graduation from college she accepted a job at the American Embassy in Paris. While in Paris, she attended the Alliance Francais as a foreign student. Upon her return to Omaha, she married and began a life-time career teaching French, except for 24 years during which she remained home with her children. When they were all in school she returned to teaching French. In her final years at Central, she not only taught, but also served as chair of the International Language Department. Bev also served as president of the Central High Alumni Association, and was an original member of the Central High Foundation Board of Directors. During her career, Bev received the prestigious Buffett Award. In 2007, she was inducted into the Central High Hall of Fame. Bev led many student summer trips to France; she received a National Humanities Fellowship for Study in Caen of France in World War II; she earned a Fellowship which included a summer in southern France; and she was honored as the outstanding teacher of French in Nebraska. She was appointed by Gov. Ben Nelson to the Nebraska Educational Television Board, and served a term as its chair. In recent years, she served on the Board of Beth El Synagogue. and a 2-year term as Synagogue President.

Private Burial Services for family members will be held at Beth El Cemetery at 84th and "L", on Sunday morning at 10am. A MEMORIAL SERVICE for the Community will be held at Beth El Synagogue, 14506 California Street, on Sunday morning at 11am. The Memorial Service will be followed by a luncheon at the Synagogue. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Central High School Foundation; or to Beth El Synagogue.


French teacher Beverly Fellman — a Buffett Award winner — is remembered as an outstanding educator

Posted: Saturday, January 2, 2016 1:00 am

By Michael Kelly / World-Herald staff writer The Omaha World-Herald


Beverly Fellman, a Buffett Award-winning French teacher active in numerous Omaha civic affairs, is being remembered for her achievements but also her kindness and sensitivity.

Her husband, attorney Richard Fellman, recalls arriving at her home on a blind date long ago, and Bev excusing herself without saying why. When she returned, he noticed — as a former “ladies’ shoes” salesman — that she had switched from high heels to flats.

She was an inch taller than he, even more so in heels, and didn’t want him to feel self-conscious about it.

“She was elegant,” her husband said, “and she was extremely bright.”

Beverly Fellman died Thursday from cancer at 74, two weeks before their 52nd wedding anniversary. After a private burial, a memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Sunday at Beth El Synagogue, where she had served as board president.

“Bev was involved in a number of community efforts and was always a strong contributor to whatever she did,” said Ben Nelson, former Nebraska governor and U.S. senator, a longtime friend of the Fellmans. “Her personality and professionalism made her an outstanding educator.”

As Bev Bloom, she was a National Merit finalist at Omaha Central High and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Omaha, now UNO.

She worked at the American Embassy in Paris and studied at the Alliance Française before returning to teach at Central. She took a break from teaching but resumed her career after the couple’s four children were in school, and became chairman of the International Language Department.

Sandy Epstein, who first met Fellman as one of her French students, said she was a strict but caring teacher.

“Because of her, I became a French major in college,” Epstein said. “Whenever we greeted each other, it was with a kiss on each cheek and a ‘Bonjour.’ When her daughter recently asked that friends send her cards, I wrote mine in French, hoping that my grammar was good.”

Epstein said she always admired that besides Bev Fellman’s own activities, she was supportive of her husband’s. “I saw them as a dynamic duo.”

Dick Fellman served as a state senator and Douglas County commissioner, and ran twice as a Democrat for Congress. He teaches political science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and she accompanied him to Ukraine six years ago when he received a Fulbright fellowship to teach there.

Besides her husband, survivors include their children: Dr. Susan Witkowski of Omaha; Deborah Fellman of Los Angeles; Jon Fellman of Wilmette, Illinois; and Rabbi Daniel Fellman of Syracuse, New York.

Bev Fellman served as president of the Central High Alumni Association and on the board of the school’s foundation. In 2007, she was inducted into the Central High Hall of Fame.

She led many student summer trips to France and was honored as the outstanding teacher of French in Nebraska. When Ben Nelson was governor, he appointed her to the board of Nebraska Education Television, which she eventually chaired.

“I got to know the Fellmans as neighbors in the early ’70s,” Nelson said, “and we were all involved in our political campaigns — Dick’s and mine. Bev was always a warm and friendly person.”

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