The History of Cleves and Lonnemann

Founders

Ed Cleves & Joe Lonnemann

In 1932 Ed Cleves, Sr. (pictured right) & Joe Lonnemann, Sr. 

(pictured left) were laid off from Motch Jewelers in Covington during the Great Depression. Together they decided to start their own business in Bellevue.  They repaired watches, clocks, jewelry, and also fitted and repaired eyeglasses.

Second Generation Owners

Nick & Gert Cleves

Edgar Nicholas Cleves, Jr. (Nick) began working part time at the store in July of 1941.  He graduated from St. Thomas More College in 1945 and Villa Madonna College in 1947.  He was sworn in to the US Navy in 1945. Following graduation he started full time at the store. He only took time away from the store for his active tours of duty for the Navy.

He and Gert were married in 1952.

 

In 1966, Ed Cleves, Sr. and Joe Lonnemann, Sr. decided they were ready to retire. They sold the store to Nick & Gert. With Joe’s blessing, it was decided to keep the Lonnemann name for the business in order to honor the men who founded a jewelry store during the depths of the Depression.

Third Generation Owners

Charlie & Mary Lynn Cleves

Charles Nicholas Cleves (Charlie) graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in Math in 1975. He then began working full time at the store. He took classes in watchmaking, gemology, diamond setting, silversmithing, and enameling among others to enhance the offerings of Cleves and Lonnemann.  In 1997 he became the president of the American Watchmakers- Clockmakers Institute.  He and Mary Lynn were married in 1979. Charlie and Mary Lynn took over ownership of the store in 1989 upon Nick’s retirement.  Gert continued working at the store until 1997.

Fourth Generation Owners

Mike & Erin Cleves

 

Michael David Cleves (Mike) graduated from Thomas More College with a degree in Computer Science in 2002. He began working at the store full time in 2004. He and Erin were married in 2005.  They then took ownership of the store January 1st 2017. Charlie and Mary Lynn are easing their way into retirement and are still working at the store part time.

The Fifth Generation

Emma, Aubrey, & Sam Cleves

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