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American Legion Post 179
2327 Wilson Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Richard Bishop would agree that he was one of the kindest people around. He worked hard and was known for his strong work ethic, and he was well respected in his work as well. Caring and devoted to his family, Richard was so thrilled to watch his family grow to include the grandchildren he adored. With a quick wit, he always had a smile for all who were near. Life will never be the same without Richard here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. Countless young servicemen and women were fighting overseas while those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods such as rubber, paper, coffee, and sugar. It was during this eventful time that Arthur and Ethel (Doty) Bishop were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Richard Garry on November 7, 1942, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was one of six as he was joined in his family by his siblings, Floyd, Dorothy, Marian, Joyce, and Ken. Richard’s father worked as a lumberjack and night watchman for a furniture company in Grand Rapids while his mother was a housekeeper who later became a full-time homemaker. Tragedy struck in the Bishop family with the death of Richard’s father when he was just a young boy of eight. Richard never broke a bone, but he did have his share of accidents and subsequent trips to the doctor. Their home was the gathering place for family holidays as his mother was an amazing hostess.
Times were tight for the Bishop family. The children would sleep on the living room floor downstairs during the winter. Everyone needed to pitch in to help make ends meet, especially once Richard’s father died. Richard developed his skills as a salesman while he was growing up as a result. There was a farmer who used to bring bunches of gladiolas to town to sell, and while he would have kids sell them for .15 cents a bunch, Richard always charged .25 cents and even sold out. He also had a paper route, sold soap door to door, and rode his bike to East Grand Rapids to caddy at a golf course. The money he brought in was such a help to Richard’s family. Although his mother later remarried, it wasn’t until he was already out of the house. Richard attended local schools and was a high jumper on the track team. He had a ‘56 Chevy, and it was a great source of pride and joy. Richard later went on to earn his associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Community College.
Life was forever changed for Richard when he met the young woman who would forever hold the key to his heart. Her name was Marcia, and their first date was to attend a party together after he picked her up in his ‘63 Corvette. At the time Richard was working for CB Myers Company. Richard and Marcia went on to date for three months, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together they were married on September 18, 1964, at Second Congregational Church. It was quite a memorable time as a storm caused the electricity to go out at church. Since Richard didn't have any vacation time, the couple didn't take a honeymoon. Their first home together was in Green Meadow Village Mobile Home Park where they lived for eight years.
Throughout his life Richard was a man of integrity who gave everything his all. He was drafted into the United States Army and completed his basic training at Fort Bragg before deploying to Vietnam. Richard served two years but was fortunate to be assigned a clerk job in the office where the generals planned. Although this position wasn’t without any risk, it was very minimal. Just how much of his gift of gab and salesmanship played into his assignment remains unknown.
There was never anything of greater importance to Richard than his family. He and his wife bought their first home at 1660 Fremont, NW by Richmond Park, and they later moved to 264 Luray Avenue, NW before having a house built at 2881 Vista View Court. Together they welcomed two sons including Scott in 1970 and Shawn in 1977 into their hearts and home. As a father Richard was there to support his children in any way, and he was a fantastic role model and teacher who also showed his love to his sons. As a grandfather he was second to none, and he so loved his role as a proud grandpa. Richard could always make his grandchildren laugh, too.
Over the years Richard was known for his strong work ethic. He spent 30 years working in both wholesale and retail sales. Among the many products he sold were hair rollers, tires, and coffee - although Richard wasn’t a coffee drinker himself. Eventually, he started purchasing and managing rental properties, and at one time he had 17 property units at once. In fact, Richard continued to work in property management during his retirement years. Even though his work kept him close to home, they were able to take a few short trips to places like Cedar Point. They also took a memorable trip to Florida in a motorhome.
From the time he was young, Richard was someone who was always busy. He was an avid golfer, and he was a die-hard fan of Detroit sports teams regardless of whether they were losing or winning. Richard also was a fan of U of M, and it has been said that he didn’t mind coaching from his couch! He watched the news on CNN, and he especially paid attention to the stock market reports. Richard was a meat and potatoes guy who wasn’t really into fine dining, but he loved Mr. Burger. He did enjoy grilling. He was a sci-fi fan, especially when it came to Star Trek, and as a lover of casinos he could spend several hours playing the penny slots with only $20. Although he still managed some properties, they did spend their winters in Arizona for the past 15 years as the warm and dry weather was easier on their health conditions.
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Richard Bishop was a blessing in the lives of many. He was modest and frugal with a work ethic that was truly unmatched. Kind and funny, Richard was the sort of person who could get along with anyone, and he was so easy to talk to as well. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who was there for his family in ways both great and small. Deeply loved, Richard will be forever missed.
BISHOP, Richard G.
Grand Rapids, MI
Age 76, died unexpectedly April 17, 2019 in Apache Junction, AZ. Richard was born November 7, 1942 in Grand Rapids to the late Arthur & Ethel (Doty) Bishop. He was a US Army veteran of the Vietnam War. Richard was retired from a 30 year sales career and property management. He will be remembered for his quick wit and ability to get along with everyone. Richard is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marcia; sons, Scott (Jennifer) Bishop of Zeeland, Shawn (Veronica) Bishop of Wyoming; grandchildren, Benjamin, Emily, Ethan, Hunter; siblings, Dorothy Chadwick of Apache Junction, AZ, Kendrick (Doris) Bishop of Westfield, MA; and many cousins, nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Asa Bishop; and siblings, Floyd Bishop, Marian & Richard Markosky, Joyce & Bob Figard, & Glenn Chadwick. A funeral service will be held Thursday, April 25 at 11 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends may visit with family Wednesday from 2-4 & 6-8 PM, and Thursday beginning at 10 AM. Interment will be in Rosedale Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to American Legion Post 179 or to American Heart Association. Please visit Richard's personal web page to read more of his life story, leave a memory or condolence at www.lifestorynet.com.