Harold Simpson Bemis

Photo of Harold  Simpson Bemis
Harold Simpson Bemis peacefully crossed the bar at his home in Fayetteville, Ark., on May 10, 2017. He was 73 years young and left us much too soon. A private family gathering to celebrate his life was held in Fayetteville immediately after his passing. He is survived by his daughter, Lara Bemis Killgore and her two sons John and Charlie of Jupiter, Fla.; his son Harold Simpson Bemis Jr. (Chip) with wife Amy and their four children Shiloh, Benjamin, Kessiah and Oliver of Fayetteville, Ark.; sister Katherine Bemis Piper of St. Louis, Mo.; sister Marita Bemis Parrish and husband Angelo of Houston, Texas; brother Edward Bemis and wife Linda of Olathe, Kan.; and brother Andrew Bemis of Rome, Georgia. Harold was a beloved son, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend. Happily going by his many monikers of Pop, Poppy, Brother, Uncle Harold and Uncle Cowboy, he was dearly loved by all who truly knew him. A graduate of Western Military Academy in Alton, Ill., and later the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Harold's respect for the law and prowess for debate led him to become an attorney who practiced law in both Ohio and Arkansas over the course of his professional career. However, his passion for adventure took him in many different directions - to the bottom of the sea as a master scuba diver, behind the captain's wheel of his Bayfield 25 Sloop, even to the dojo mat as a black belt in White Tiger Kenpo Karate. He traveled the globe in search of burgeoning entrepreneurial endeavors but also relished the simplicity of hiking and canoeing the mountains and streams closer to home in Arkansas. Even though his adventures led him to places far and wide, his favorite place to be at any given time was wherever his grandchildren were. His most cherished roles were that of father and grandfather and he thoroughly enjoyed basking in the love and laughter of his family. Whether at his childhood home in Prescott, Ark., for holidays, or the porch at 509 Belvedere in the summertime, his sister's home in Houston for Thanksgiving in recent years, or his children's homes in both Fayetteville and Jupiter, Harold always enjoyed and appreciated the time he was able to spend with family. He loved to laugh with his siblings and their outlaws, he constantly conspired to outwit his nieces and nephews, he loved to JUICE! his grandchildren and he remained wholly devoted to his children thru all the twisting and turning life's winding roads can take - standing by their side both relishing their successes and softening their stumbles. He was a quietly proud and loving father and a delightfully adoring grandfather. He will be dearly missed and forever loved. Harold was a juxtaposed mix of conservative politics and esoteric spirituality, a lover of books and gadgetry, a prankster and tinkerer. He was a shy man who shared cautiously but loved deeply. He will be well remembered for the kindness of his nature, the twinkle in his eye, the mischief in his spirit and the glow in his heart. Just as Love was the greatest legacy left to him by his parents, James Rosborough and Jane Simpson Bemis, so is Love the greatest legacy he leaves behind for all of us. It's the legacy we will carry forward. He will be forever our Pop, our Poppy, our Brother, our Uncle Harold and our Uncle Cowboy. The mysteries of the universe that so fascinated him are mysteries no more. He will live in our hearts always and we know his soul is soaring. So, be peaceful, Pop, and be free. And one last time for you, Pop, as you would always tell your grandchildren each night you were with them - with one more hug before they retired to bed after long, full, adventurous days - JUICE to you! And goodnight and pleasant dreams… Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Moore's Chapel. To place an online tribute please visit

Published June 18, 2017