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Dr. Robert Hemm

1951 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  Robert Hemm Obituary
Robert Mark Hemm, M.D.

1951-2015 Dr. Robert Mark Hemm, 64, died Friday, May 29 at the Friendship Retirement Community in the city of his birth, Roanoke, Virginia. His son, Matthew Kelly Hemm and Matthew's fiancee, Loretta Barthel, were with Mark as he passed from this world into the arms of his savior Jesus Christ. Born February 16, 1951, Mark was the oldest of three children born to Robert Andrew Hemm and Jean Murray Hemm. He grew up in New Rochelle and later Pelham Manor, N.Y. He graduated magna cum laude from Washington and Lee University in 1973, where he earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa as well as the Alpha Epsilon Delta International Premedical Honor Society. He attended Cornell University Medical School, and after receiving his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1977 went on to complete an internship at Roger Williams General Hospital, Brown University. He did his Residency at the Greenwich Hospital, Yale School of Medicine where he was named Chief Resident in 1982. While in Greenwich, Mark married Bridget Catherine Kelly and their first son, Robert Mark Hemm Jr. ("Bobby") was born. Following his residency, Mark moved with his new family to Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, where he joined the Medical Staff of Mayo Regional Hospital and practiced Internal Medicine and Geriatrics for the next ten years. He and Bridget were blessed with their second son, Matthew, in 1985. During his tenure at Mayo he served terms as Director of the ICU and Chief of Staff. He also served as the town Health Officer, was appointed Medical Examiner by the State of Maine, and was an active member of the Kiwanis Club. The family moved to Ogden, Utah in 1992, where Mark joined the staff of Tanner Memorial Clinic. While in Utah, Mark was certified as a Diplomate in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine, scoring in the top one percent nationally on the notoriously difficult examination. He duplicated this feat two years later when he obtained his sub-specialty Board Certification in Geriatrics with similar scores. Mark and his family moved to Bennington, Vermont in 1994, where he joined the Medical Staff of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. He was named 1995 Physician of the Year by the Vermont Health Care Association for his outstanding service to the residents of Bennington area nursing homes, and maintained a private Internal Medicine and Geriatrics practice in Bennington until a variety of health problems precipitated his early retirement in 2002. Dr. Hemm was known to all his colleagues as a physician of singular talent and ability, and to his patients as a man of extraordinary empathy and compassion. Aside from his professional life, Mark was a man of many talents and interests. At the age of 8 years, he became the then youngest licensed amateur radio operator in the country, a hobby he would revisit later in life. In his youth Mark also enjoyed CB radio chat and was known by his handle "Dr. Pepper". He was also a skilled aviator, becoming a VFR certified pilot in 1988 and later earning his Instrument Flight Rules rating. He harbored a passion for fly fishing and was an accomplished fly tier. He loved boating in the summer months on Sebec Lake while, during the winter months, he was an expert downhill skier and also enjoyed snowmobiling and ice-fishing. His unceasing academic interests covered the spectrum from history to religion, cosmology and theoretical physics. His study of foreign languages included German, Italian and Japanese. He enjoyed both English and German literature, and his musical tastes ranged from classical music (especially German opera) to Bob Dylan and the Beatles. During his retirement, his interests in astronomy and meteorology took him to Flagstaff, Arizona where he spent most of the last years of his life peering through his telescopes, exploring the universe from his backyard observatory which he called Phi Lambda. An animal lover, Mark always had devoted four-legged friends around. He loved the many German Shepherds he owned throughout his life, and later on his parrots entertained guests with the colorful language Mark delighted in teaching them. His greatest joy throughout his life however, was time spent with his family. He was an excellent and loving father to his sons, Bobby and Matthew, as well as to his ward, Gary Clarke, and his niece, Tara Dariano, both of whom came into the family as teenagers. He is survived by his children, Bobby and Matthew and their mother, Bridget; his parents, Robert and Jean Hemm of Pelham Manor, N.Y.; his brother, Andrew Murray Hemm of NYC, Andrew's wife, Hilary, and their son Christopher; his Aunt Martha Murray and his cousins Rob, Todd and Kay and their families originally from Troutville, Va.; his uncle, Richard Murray of Texas, as well as many other first and second cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends all of whom he loved dearly. He was predeceased by his beloved sister, Kristen Hemm, as well his grandparents, his Uncle Bob, his great aunts and several dear friends, A memorial service for Dr. Hemm will be held at Christ Church, 1415 Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham N.Y. 10803, on Saturday, June 13 at 11 a.m. followed by a Celebration of Life reception in the church library. Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be made in the name of Robert Mark Hemm, M.D. to the A.S.P.C.A., https://www.aspca.org/secure/memorial or to the Foundation for End-of-Life Care, https://foundationeolc.org.
Published in Bennington Banner on June 6, 2015
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