PEABODY — John E. Bezemes, 90, of Peabody, died unexpectedly at the Lahey Clinic North in Peabody on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011.
Mr. Bezemes was born in Peabody on Oct. 1, 1920, son of Ernest and Katina (Ravaris) Bezemes. John was raised in Peabody and graduated from Peabody High School, Class of 1938, and was a three varsity sports star lettering in football, basketball and baseball. He then attended the College of the Holy Cross and received his B.S. in Education in 1942. John was later inducted into the Peabody High School Hall of Fame for both athletics and career achievement, and the Holy Cross Hall of Fame.
Bezemes was a two-sport standout at Holy Cross, earning letters in both football and baseball. An All-East choice in 1942 in football, he led the Crusaders to wins over Temple, North Carolina and Boston College and played a major role in HC's stunning 55-12 upset over the Eagles that year by accounting for four touchdowns - two in the air, one on the ground and one interception return. He was also on Crusader baseball teams that won 25 of 30 games and played varsity basketball. He played in the 1942 Blue-Gray Classic in Montgomery, Ala., a showcase for top collegiate football talent. Upon graduation he was drafted by both the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Eagles.
John enlisted into the U.S. Army on July 1, 1942, serving as a Sergeant and was honorably discharged on January 31, 1946. Upon his discharge from the Army, he played professional football with Eagles and professional baseball in the Cubs' minor league system. Following his professional sports career, John returned to Peabody and taught geography at Peabody High School for 30 years. During this period he coached Varsity football and baseball for many years. As a result of his coaching experience, John was selected to become the athletic director which he held for over 10 years.
In 1981, John retired from the Peabody School System and to honor his devoted hard work, the City of Peabody dedicated the Peabody High School Baseball Field in his name. John was a loving uncle and later a grand uncle who devoted his time encouraging and supporting them with their sports activities. He traveled extensively throughout the world, but looked forward to every Wednesday going to Essex Aggie to partake in the tasting of the food prepared by the students who majored in the Culinary Art Program. Then on Saturday, he was off to Brothers Restaurant & Deli in Danvers for breakfast.
John is survived by his two sisters, Julie Kallas and Mary Maheras and her husband James of Peabody, 2 sisters-in-law, Margaret "Peggy" Bezemes of GA and Dorothy Bezemes of Illinois; his cherished 16 nieces and nephews, many grand nieces and grand nephews. His siblings, Harriet Stavros, James, George, William and Stephen Bezemes predeceased him.
ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral will be held on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9 a.m. from the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St., Peabody followed by his service at 10 a.m. at St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, 7 Paleologos Street, Peabody. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours are Wednesday, March 2, 2011 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. The family requested that in lieu of lowers, donations be made in John's name to St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, 7 Paleologos St., Peabody, MA 01960. Burial in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem. For directions, online obituary and memorial guest book please visit www.ccbfuneral.com.