Cyrus Graves Bispham

Bispham, Cyrus Graves
Dec. 11, 1925 - Jun. 26, 2013
Cyrus Graves Bispham, 87, of Sarasota, FL, died on Jun. 26, 2013. Services will be held at 1:00 pm on Mon., July 1, 2013 at Pine Shores Presbyterian Church in Sarasota, FL. Funeral arrangements by: Toale Brothers Funeral Homes.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Doris, sister Evelyn Huntington, daughters Lori (Jim) Bispham Gabbert, Lisa (Jacques) Bispham Esclangon, son Jack (Libby) Bispham, 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by son Cyrus Bispham, Jr. Cy was born December 11, 1925 in Sarasota on the family farm and house that is still located today at Field Road and US 41. Cy graduated from Sarasota High School where he was an exceptional athlete as a football player and boxer. Cy was a standout in track as well - holding the mile record for many years. Cy volunteered and joined the US Army as a paratrooper in 1944. Cy was stationed in the Philippines - then later in Japan. Cy and Doris visited his duty stations in Japan. Cy was proud to serve his country. Upon his return home in 1947, his sister Evelyn introduced Cy to Doris Wagner. Following a whirlwind courtship, Cy and Doris were married May 28, 1948. This year they celebrated 65 years of marriage. Cy and his father moved Bayside Dairy Farm from the original location at the Landings on US 41 to the Gulf Gate location on Bispham Road, opening in 1949. Doris was active at the new dairy as the office manager and bookkeeper. The business grew quickly and soon they were buying milk to supplement production. Bayside Dairy processed their own milk and operated a bottling plant for glass bottles. Home delivery was a large part of the operation with routes from Longboat Key to south Sarasota. Fierce competition came in the form of Sealtest milk from Tampa with cardboard cartons. In 1955, Hoods purchased the Sarasota milk route from Bayside Dairy. In 1957, the Gulf Gate property was sold for a golf course development. Cy moved Bayside Dairy and his family to 1,150 acres on Ibis Street and grew his herd up to 1,000 cows. The dairy produced milk until 1987 when the cattle were sold to prepare for the development of Serenoa and Serenoa Lakes. Cy has been a community leader for many years. Cy and Doris are charter members of Pine Shores Presbyterian Church. Cy was a Boy Scout leader and a member of the Sarasota County Charter Commission, working to help author the original county charter. Cy served four years on the Planning Commission and two terms on the Chamber of Commerce Board. Cy is a current and charter member (November 13, 1958) of the Sarasota Bay Rotary Club and served as a past president. Cy was on the Sarasota County Fair Board for 35 years and spent 10 years on the Florida State Fair Board.
He served on the local, state and national dairy board. Cy started selling land in 1955 as a realtor. He bought and sold thousands of acres in his 58 year real estate career with sales throughout the west coast. Cy was a charter member of the Argus Foundation, and was honored by Argus with a lifetime achievement award in 2010. Cy served as member of the Gulf Gate Bank board and 10 years as Chairman of the Board. In 1988, Cy started development of his land on Ibis Street and built the Serenoa golf course, Serenoa Estates following this with Serenoa Lakes. Cy was a visionary, developer and realtor for this large project. Cy enjoyed telling buyers about the history of Sarasota and the land. Cy personally welcomed each visitor to the development for years and enjoyed it immensely. Cy, an avid outdoorsman, loved snorkeling, spearfishing, hunting, boating, shooting and traveling to distant locations. Cy organized trips with friends to the far reaches of the globe. No flight was too long nor bus ride too rough to find the perfect dove or pigeon field. His trips to the Keys and Bahamas are the basis of stories and tall tales that will be repeated for years. Cy's legacy of stewardship of the land, community involvement and outgoing ambassador of Sarasota will be carried on by his family for many years. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pine Shores Presbyterian Church.


Published in Herald Tribune from June 28 to June 29, 2013