A memorial floral arrangement was placed at the Brookline grave of Francis Ouimet this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his passing on September 2, 1967.
Mr. Ouimet had been in good health and worked at Brown Brothers Harriman the day before suffering a heart attack in late August of 1967. He lingered for ten days before dying at age 74. Boston newspapers reported daily on his status, and had major stories on his life when he passed. His lifelong friend Gene Sarazen was among the pall bearers. Mr. Sarazen is remembered as the last to leave the cemetery and knocked on his friend’s casket and said, “fast greens, Francis.” It was a message to be sure that the greens on the course in heaven were the way Mr. Ouimet liked them.
Mr. Ouimet is, of course, best remembered for his dramatic 1913 U.S. Open victory, his Hall of Fame golf career, his standing as an international golfing goodwill ambassador, and his great kindness. He was honored in many ways, but considered his greatest honor the creation of the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund in 1949. The Ouimet Fund is his great legacy, and has helped over 5,700 young people go on to college and better lives with nearly $34 Million in scholarship tuition assistance.