99-Year-Old Dallas Volunteer Wins Texas Award

WWII veteran in Richardson wins the Texas Andrus Award.

For a quarter century, Frank Kormos volunteered his time to teach older Americans how to drive safely. This weekend, at age 99, he received the AARP’s top volunteer honor for community service, the Texas Andrus Award. 

Next month, Frank Kormos will turn 100. You might never know this spry man, who gets around using only a cane, once had his Model T Ford hauled to his farm by two mules.

“It needed a tire and some work done on the engine especially.”

Kormos started volunteering at a young age, in fact he remembers painting his Church’s alter — white with gold trim — as a teenager in Corsicana. His family had a farm there. They grew corn, oats, and the cash crop cotton. After going to school in Oklahoma, he got a job on the Railroad in Houston — which at that time still had steam engines. Then …

“Uncle Sam sends me a post card saying buddy you are now invited to become a soldier.”

In the army, Kormos’s calling was engines. He took courses on Cadillac engines and diesel engines with General Motors in Flint Michigan, and eventually with tank engines in an army maintenance battalion.

Kormos remembers heading from Italy to Southern France,

”Winston was out there in Naples, waving us goodbye, with his cigar. He was just like they depicted him.”

After the war, Kormos reunited with a girl he’d met in Flint, and held down a number of jobs, from a Buick dealer to an insurance salesman. He spent twenty years working at Collins Radio in Dallas. After raising four kids with his wife Lois, he retired in 1984 at the age of 70.

That’s when he got serious about volunteering. He found his niche not with car engines, but with car safety. He taught more than 100 driver safety courses for the local AARP, reminding older drivers the best ways to make turns.

“The rules of the road. You’ve got to learn how to overcome your handicaps”

The AARP says Kormos has helped more than 1,500 Texans stay independent and on the road.

And this guy really is a stickler for safe driving, Frank Kormos turned in his license two years ago, at age 97.


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