OTTUMWA — Robert Lyle “Bob” Bemis, 71, formerly of Ottumwa, passed away June 8, 2014, at Arbor Springs in West Des Moines.
He was born October 19, 1942, in Sparta, Wisconsin, to Robert H. and Lucille Sterling Bemis. He married Abigail “Abby” Ahrens on June 11, 1977, in Fairfield, Iowa.
Bob was a 1961 graduate of Ottumwa High School and earned a B.A. from Truman State University in 1965. He spent 33 years as an English and advanced placement literature instructor in the Eddyville and Ottumwa school districts, retiring in 1998. He served as head of the Ottumwa English Department and sponsored numerous extra-curricular activities at both school districts.
He had been a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Ottumwa and B.P.O. Elks Lodge #347.
Bob was a very supportive father and passed his love of reading and fishing on to his grandchildren.
Surviving are his wife of 37 years, Abby; two sons, Scott (Deb) Bemis of Indianola and Troy (Deanna) Bemis of Oskaloosa; four grandchildren, Derek and Jordan Bemis of Oskaloosa and Ethan and Cael Bemis of Indianola; three brothers, Melvin (Maryanne) Bemis of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, Jerry (Cindy) Bemis of Limestone, Tennessee, and Ron (Judy) Bemis of Chariton; stepmother, Dorothy Bemis of Ottumwa; stepbrother, Fred (Barbara) Randolph of Kansas City, Missouri; stepsister, Karen Randolph of Ottumwa; sisters-in-law, Pat Peck of Keosauqua, Jane (Bob) Pilz of Santee, California, and Mary (Tom Louden) Roland of Fairfield; many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ed and Roberta Ahrens.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Friday at Reece Funeral Home. Burial will be in Shaul Cemetery.
Visitation begins at 1 p.m. Thursday with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Ottumwa Public Library.