Ray Francis Bemis Jr.

Nov 29, 1931 - Apr 14, 2017

Ray's Story

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Levant and Bangor - Ray Francis Bemis, Jr., was called home to be with the Lord on April 14, 2017, at home with his loving wife by his side. Ray was born in Bangor, November 29, 1931, the son of Ray, Sr., and Floy (Williams) Bemis.
Ray began working at a young age at his father's general store and grain business. Upon graduation from Hermon High School Ray attended Higgins Classical Institute in Charleston. He married his wife of 53 years, Mary Elaine Withee on October 6, 1950. Ray enlisted in the U.S. Navy, which allowed him to travel throughout the world. After 4 years of enlistment, Ray and Mary returned to their childhood home, Levant. Ray was employed at IBM as an engineer, where he retired after 31 years, in 1987. Ray was not satisfied "to just sit still" and chose to drive truck for Sawyer Waste Management and then to drive school bus in Levant.
Ray was very active in his community. He was elected as selectman and served for 13 years and served on the SAD23 school board for 15 years. Ray was a founding member of the Levant Volunteer Fire Department and served as chief for 30 years. Part of what made Ray a successful community leader was that he always had a good word and listening ear for everyone. It was rare for Ray to travel anywhere and not encounter someone who knew him. Throughout his life, Ray was very active and enjoyed camping, hunting, and fishing. He particularly enjoyed spending summers at the camp he built with his sons on Stetson Pond.
Ray was a member of the churches in Levant and later a member of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Exeter. He held the Lord close to his heart. After the passing of his wife, Ray married Patricia (Ackley) and lived the last years of his life in her loving care and support.
Ray was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Mary E. (Withee) Bemis, October 28, 2002; his parents, grandparents, and his beloved mother-in-law Inez (Look) Ackley. Ray is survived by his loving wife, Patricia; 3 sons, Richard A. Bemis and his fiancée, Cindy King, of Wartburg, Tennessee, Robert A. Bemis, and his wife, Lisa of Stetson, Ray F. Bemis III and husband Michael Isom, of Roanoke, Virginia, and stepson Barry Hartford and fiancée Kelley Dowling, of East Machias; Rays grandchildren, Adam Bemis, Aleisha Bemis, Chelsea Speer, and her husband Justin, Ashley Bemis, Michelle Canelles and her fiancé Randy Parsons, Travis Bemis, Brad Bemis and wife, Brandy; great grandchildren Dimitri Canelles, Dominic Canelles, Makalya Bemis, Isabelle Bemis, Kate Bemis, and two more on the way; step grandchildren Danny Hartford, Lynnsey Canady and husband Drew, Lexie Verburgt, and Jordan Hartford; a step great grandson Kaiden Canady. Also surviving are two sisters, Ruth Whidden, of Florida, and Sylvia Kelley and husband Carl, of Falmouth. Sisters-in-law Joan Nielson, Linda Wiggin, Glenda Coffey, and husband Lou, Brenda Rogerson and brother-in-law, Peter Withee and wife Jane. Ray is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, a special friend Cindy Hartford, and other friends too numerous to mention.
Relatives and friends are welcome to call 5-7 p.m., Friday, April 21, 2017, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor, where a Masonic service will be conducted by the officers and members of Kenduskeag Lodge #137 AF & AM of Kenduskeag at 6:30 p.m. A funeral service will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, Apr. 22, 2017, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor, with Pastor Stan Griffin of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Exeter, officiating. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., immediately following the funeral Saturday. Interment will be in the Waugh Cemetery, Levant. Those who wish to remember Ray in a special way may make gifts in his memory to Hospice of Eastern Maine, 885 Union St., Suite 220, Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com
Published on  April 17, 2017
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