John Frederic Bemis, 76, a life-long resident of Keene passed away at Cheshire Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Keene on August 26, 2020, following a lingering illness.
He was born in Keene on March 16, 1944, the son of the late Bessie Merriam (Dodge) and Donald Marcellus Bemis Sr. He attended local Keene schools and graduated from Keene High School class of 1962. He furthered his education at Northampton Commercial College in Northampton, Mass.
He served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged following a tour of duty in Vietnam.
John was employed at Markem Machine Corp. for 28 years.
John was a lifelong member of the Grace United Methodist Church, taking an active part in a variety of offices and activities over the years. In recent years, he also attended the Salvation Army Corps. Worship and Service Center in Keene.
John was a Mason and long-time member (50+ years) of the Social Friends Lodge #42. He became a Master Mason on February 5, 1966, and served as Master of the Social Friends Lodge in Keene from 1974-1975. In July 1980, he received the Major General John Sullivan Award. (The Social Friends Lodge of Keene later became Jerusalem Lodge #104.) In May 1990, John represented the Grand Lodge of N.H. as the 3rd District Education Officer. John joined the Scottish Rite at the Valley of Keene in Mary 1972, and in 1999 joined N.H. Consistory and Rose Croix. During this time he was elevated to 32nd Degree.
John was a lover of history, especially Keene history and family genealogies. He co-authored the book Yankee Glass, which tells the history of glassmaking in N.H. from 1790-1886 and for many years was an active member of the Keene Bottle Club.
John’s favorite holiday was Christmas! He loved decorating his home with glowing lights and having a tree in every room. For John, Christmas was a year-round celebration.
John was predeceased by brothers; George K. Bemis and Donald M. Bemis Jr., Lawrence Bemis, James E. Bemis, and Randall E. Bemis and sister Elinor F. Bemis. John will be greatly missed by his sister, Marilyn B. McKeage of Concord, and brother, David F. Bemis of Keene, along with close friend Karen Hassanein of Keene. He will also be missed by his cousins and many nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.
In keeping with John’s wishes, there are no calling hours. A memorial service will be held in Spring 2021. In lieu of flowers, for those who wish, donations may be made in John’s memory to the
Salvation Army Corps. Worship and Service Center
15 Roxbury Plaza
Keene, N.H. 03431.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com