Ray Nelson Bishop, age 89 years of Niles, Michigan, father, grandfather, brother, honorable Veteran, Karaoke performer, and breakfast connoisseur died peacefully at 1:11 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, 2022 with his family gathered around his bedside at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana following a brief illness.
He was born on February 5, 1933 in Mishawaka, Indiana to Roscoe and Tressa (McQuillen) Bishop, and was graduated from Mishawaka High School. He enlisted in the United States Army, serving mostly in Alaska, and was Honorably Discharged as a Veteran of the Korean Conflict. He returned to Mishawaka, and was employed at the “Ball Band” plant of United States Rubber Company – later Uniroyal – for forty years, retiring in 1995. He was a member of the United Rubber Workers Union Local 65, and served that complex manufacturing plant as an electrician.
Ray was a great fan of the Notre Dame football team. He enjoyed performing Karaoke in the evening, but in the mornings he was a regular breakfast customer at all of the restaurants on South Eleventh Street but most regularly at the Prime Table and the Hob Nob. He treated the morning staff at those restaurants well, and was honored with his name in-print on a menu. He was sometimes accompanied at breakfast by his children and their children; in-fact, those grandchildren were his greatest joy, and he was a faithful and supportive spectator at all of their athletic events. The great smile on Ray’s face in the above photograph is from showing-off his t-shirt with a photograph of his grandchildren.
On September 30, 1950 in Peru, Indiana he married the former Rosemary Williams with whom he celebrated the forty-eighth anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on January 4, 1999. He was also sadly preceded in death by two grandsons, Jeremy and Jason; and by his siblings, June Commins, Eithel Rogers, Harold Bishop, and Melvin Bishop who died in a childhood accident. Ray was also preceded in death by his beloved pet German Shepherd, Frank.
Surviving family includes his children, Julie Ann Curran, Rebecca J. Adams, Karen L (& Ed) Dunifin, Cassandra R. Cox, Jennifer K. Bishop, and Christopher B. (& Tina) Bishop, all of Niles; grandchildren, Brande, Theresa (& Rick), Bridgett (& Tim), Shelli (& Josh), Cierha (& Freddy), Brian, Jennifer (& Tim), Wes, Aaron (& Tara), Bradley, Gary, Tricia, and Killian; thirty-seven great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; and Ray’s sister, Sue (& Larry) McCarty of Mishawaka, and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Ray Bishop will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles with his great-nephew, Pastor Aaron Helman of Clay Church in South Bend officiating. Committal will follow at the graveside in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola, Indiana and will conclude with the Full Military Honors offered by the United States Army Honor Guard assisted by the American Legion. The services will be available livestreamed at: https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/ .
The family will receive relatives and friends from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. Contributions in memory of Ray may be made to the Veterans Memorial at Riverfront Park c/o Niles City Hall, 333 North Second Street, Niles, Michigan 49120, http://cms3files.revize.com/niles/document_center/Forms/Department%20of%20Public%20Works/BuyABrickForm16.pdf . Online condolences may be left at:
Ray clearly used his eighty-nine years well, serving his country during war, completing a faithful 40 years at one employer, and patronizing restaurants in a manner that they looked-forward to serving him. More important was nearly nine decades of loving those around him including his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and his dog.