Richard Bemis

Richard Whittemore "Dick" Bemis

Thursday, March 15th, 1928 - Saturday, October 12th, 2019
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SPENCER- Richard “Dick” Whittemore Bemis,91, died Saturday, October 12, 2019 after a valiant struggle against Alzheimer’s Disease. Son of Roger E. Bemis and Helen (Hobbs) Bemis, he was born in the family farmhouse in Spencer and died next door.

Richard is survived by his loving wife Marjorie (Olson) Bemis; sons Edward & his wife Tina and Gregory; a grandson Carter all of Spencer; a sister Dorothy and her companion Pat Hayes of Florida ; many nieces & nephews and grandnieces & grandnephews. He is predeceased by a son Mark and siblings Warren, Betty McCord and Barbara McCarthy.

Richard took Marjorie on their first date to a Vaughn Monroe concert in Framingham. Their paths became intertwined and they married 59 years ago in Sudbury, MA. Prior to that, in 1947 at the age of 18, he took the bold step of starting Bemis Farms Nursery in Spencer. An ornamentals nursery specializing in perennials, before they were widely known and appreciated. Richard graduated from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst. He took an unexpected break from his fledgling nursery while he served his country as an Artillery Master Sergeant in Korea, responsible for one of the first racially integrated artillery units in US military history.

He was born in a Spencer farmhouse, and passed away next door, on the same farm, in his sons home just 900 feet away. But in that 900 feet he fit in a million miles of touching people’s lives. His cheery demeanor accented with humming and whistling, his never ending, kind gestures to everyone he met, and his propensity to provide a seemingly limitless stream of donuts and pastries to family and staff are all things that will never be forgotten.

He was active in 4-H, and worked part-time early on in the Extension Service office. He spent time in the Worcester County Horticultural society, winning some of the top award for his stunning, but naturalistic landscape displays that were probably a bit ahead of their time. He served as President of the Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association, and was active in other local, regional, and national horticultural groups. He attained his Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist status the very first time the test was ever given. He was awarded the prestigious lifetime achievement Silver Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

Last weekend as hundreds of children and parents were having a glorious time making scarecrows and playing in the pumpkins on his farm, he was looking down smiling, seeing that he had achieved his dream of making the world a little bit better and happier place. He will be deeply missed.

Friends and family are invited to attend calling hours on Friday, October 18,2019 from 4-7PM in Pillsbury Funeral Home 163 Main St. in Spencer. The funeral will be held on Saturday at 11AM in the funeral home. Flowers may be sent, or memorial donations made to the Mark Bemis Memorial Scholarship at Becker College.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, October 18th, 2019 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, October 18th, 2019 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Pillsbury Funeral Home - Spencer
    163 Main St.
    SPENCER, MA 01562
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, October 19th, 2019 |
    Saturday, October 19th, 2019
    Pillsbury Funeral Home - Spencer
    163 Main St.
    SPENCER, MA 01562
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Posted at 07:46am
I am extremely sorry to hear about your loss . He has definitely left an indelible impact . My deepest condolences to you all .
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Aurea-Anne purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Richard Bemis. Send Flowers


Francis and Mary Jesch

Posted at 04:48pm
We are so sorry about the loss of your dad. He was such a wonderful man. With our love and prayers,
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Francis and Mary Jesch purchased flowers for the family of Richard Bemis. Send Flowers


Karen Underhill

Posted at 01:53pm
Goodbye Sir you were truly one of the nicest people I have had the honor to meet and work beside. . Thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion for all things growing


Posted at 11:08am
What a Great Man!! Will be fondly remembered, did much to help me when I was starting out. Greg Tormey

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 08:28am
From the Gang on the Farm
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