Cyrus “Cy” Bispham, 87, of Sarasota, died June 26.
Born Dec. 11, 1925, in Sarasota, his family had deep roots on Longboat Key.
His father, Jackson Bispham, was a former Longboat Key farmer who relocated to the mainland after a 1921 hurricane wiped out his crop. He purchased farmland where The Landings exists today, and he filed in 1922 for a permit to open Bayside Dairy.
Bispham and his brother, Jack, woke at 3 a.m. every morning to milk the family’s 60 cows and deliver the glass bottles of milk before school. Although he was born after his family left the Key, he remained a frequent visitor.
In 1944, he graduated from Sarasota High School, where he was a standout athlete in football, track and boxing. After graduation, Bispham joined the Army as a paratrooper and was stationed in the Philippines and Japan during World War II.
Upon his return to Sarasota, he met and married his wife, Doris, in 1948. They raised four children while he devoted himself to the family business. In 1950, Bispham helped relocate the dairy farm to the Gulf Gate area, then to property east of town in 1952, where it continued to operate until 1987.
Bispham devoted the 12 years leading up to his retirement to developing 383 acres of the family’s 1,150-acre farm into the golf and residential community, Serenoa, which opened in 1990.
Bispham served on local, state and national dairy boards, the Sarasota County Fair Board and the Sarasota County Planning Commission. He was a founding member of the County Charter Commission, and he helped found the Rotary Club of Sarasota Bay, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and the Argus Foundation, which, in 2010, honored him with a lifetime achievement award.
Bispham is survived by his wife of 65 years, Doris; daughters Lori Bispham Gabbert and Lisa Bispham Esclangon; son, Jack Bispham; sister, Evie Huntington; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A service took place July 1, at Pine Shores Presbyterian Church in Sarasota.
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