In memory of
Melva "Mel" Bemis
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In memory of
Melva "Mel" Bemis
Bemis, Melva 'Mel' Nov 14, 1924 - Oct 7, 2016 Melva (Mel) Bemis, daughter of George and Minnie (Irvin) Weber, born on November 14, 1924, set her spirit free on October 7, 2016, in Bradenton, Florida. She was predeceased by her husband, Tom Bemis, an Ellis County, KS, rancher, soil conservationist, and inventor, in 1974. She is survived by three children: George Bemis (wife, Jean Martin Bemis) of Cambridge, MN; Ann Bemis of Bradenton, FL; and Bill Bemis of Ellis, KS; 4 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great granddaughter. Mel grew up in Portland, Oregon, the daughter of a sign painter/manufacturer. She was a child of the depression, but not without dreams to travel the world and have great adventures. After attending college at Oregon State College, she pursued a career as a flight attendant for United Airlines. Early into that, she met a handsome cowboy from the plains of Kansas on one of her flights and would become a rancher's wife and mother of three children on the U-Bar Ranch in northern Ellis County, KS. Once her children were in school and motivated by the desire to work with the hearing impaired, Mel went back to college at Fort Hays Kansas State College. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Speech Pathology, became a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, and taught in Ellis County schools for 20 years. During that time, being active with bridge clubs and League of Women Voters, besides raising children, kept her busy. When she retired from teaching in 1990, Mel picked up that desire to explore, adventure, and travel. She did so on study tours to Western Europe and Mediterranean countries and islands, Alaska, Mexico and Hawaii. Staying at elder hostels, Mel explored Canada, British Columbia and historic cities in the U.S. Independently, she traveled and backpacked throughout Ireland, cruised the Virgin Islands, and spent time in Cabo San Lucas. An avid reader, always wanting to explore and learn more, one would often find her in the process of savoring the opportunity to read. Mountains were always "home" though for Mel. Several years into retirement, she decided to leave the plains of Kansas and move to Gunnison, CO, cattle country, still, but on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. Her home there, right on the Gunnison River, was her slice of heaven. Mel got involved in the community, gardened, camped, did four-wheeling, and enjoyed all that that country and its people had to offer. Another opportunity to explore the Southwest opened up, and for a number of years, Mel was a "snowbird" spending her time between Gunnison and Green Valley, AZ. In Green Valley, she played bridge, continued traveling, and took in music performances and shows in Tucson with friends. Her last move brought her to Palmetto, Florida in 2003. While there and in Bradenton, she continued playing bridge at the Beach Cafe, being active with the local American Association of University Women, attending musicals and shows, traveling the state, spending time and of course, having great adventures, with family. A full life, lived. Peace and so much love. Memorial Service at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 13, 2016, at the Manatee Unitarian Universalist Church, 322 15th St. W., Bradenton, FL. The family suggests memorial donations to Manatee County Food Bank: http://foodbankofmanatee.org/donate . Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge. Condolences may be sent to info@brownandsonsfuneral.com.
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