H. Ernie Bishop, 66, of Elburn, formerly of Drums, Penn., and Oswego, Ill., passed away on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, and is now free from his brief but fierce battle with cancer.
He was born Dec. 9, 1945, in Brunswick, Ga., the son of Odell and Iola (Miller) Bishop.
Ernie grew up in Brunswick and attended local schools. He graduated from Glynn Academy with the class of 1963.
Ernie attended college in Aurora through his involvement with Advent Christian Church, which was affiliated with Aurora College (now Aurora University). During his college years, Ernie enlisted into the United States Marine Corp in 1965. Following boot camp, he returned to college, serving one weekend a month in the reserves. Ernie joined cross-country, which enabled him to obtain a letterman’s jacket that he secretly hoped would ultimately help him meet pretty girls.
It turned out the jacket did help. Ernie and Christine (Rybaruk) Chawgo were united in marriage on June 15, 1968.
They began their new life in Aurora, where they welcomed a daughter, Jennifer, and son, Matthew. In time, they moved to Oswego in 1976, where they were blessed with another daughter, Stephanie, who made the family complete. In 1983, Christine and Ernie went their separate ways. He spent several years with his second wife, Barbara Tuohy, and her children. Ernie was lucky in love a third time when he was united in marriage to Theresa Kringer in 2008.
Ernie began working for All-Steel when he was still in school, and before he retired as a foreman almost 36 years later, the plant in Aurora closed and he relocated to the plant in Hazleton, Penn. He retired in 2008, but never really lived up to the definition by working part-time at Ametek, a plastics company in Hazleton.
Recently, with his health failing, Ernie returned to Illinois and made a home with his daughter, Jennifer.
Ernie was a dedicated worker who may have been born from his years as a local paper boy, and although he spoke rarely of religion, he had a quiet strength and a deep spirituality that kept him grounded.
During his All-Steel years, Ernie was on the company golf team and knocked down ten pins in the company bowling league. He passed on his varied interests to his children and participated during his son’s years in Cub Scouts. He was a big fan of “Da Bears,” and enjoyed the outdoors as he hiked through miles of trails in the local forest preserves as well as trips to Starved Rock.
When at home, surrounded by family, Ernie also loved playing cards and board games, often winning without remorse. Mornings were reserved for his daily crossword puzzles. He also enjoyed reading the tales spun by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Patterson, but when it came to spinning records, Alan Jackson and Kenny Rogers made the cut. Above all, his heart beat for his family, and he will be remembered for the loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle he was.
He is survived by his three children, Jennifer (Mark) Wold of Elburn, Matthew (Dawn) Bishop of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Stephanie (Kevin) Hsieh of Muskegon, Mich.; nine grandchildren, Adam Wold, Lucy Wold, Logan Bishop, Kelsey Bishop, Kian Bishop, Broden Bishop, Christopher Bishop, Anja Hsieh and Kai Hsieh; wife, Theresa of McAdoo, Penn., and her children, Emory (Mary Beth) Toth of Hazleton, and Barb (Al) Oberman of Brockton, Penn.; six siblings, Jeral Faircloth, Betty (Leon) Everett, Imogene Hagan, Nona Weinmann, Linda Rooney and Teddy Bishop; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a family of friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation, followed by a memorial service to honor Ernie’s life was held Saturday at Conley Funeral Home. Rev. Phil Ressler, pastor of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, officiated. Private family interment will follow at a later date.
A memorial has been established in Ernie’s name to benefit his favorite charities, including The American Cancer Society. Checks may be made to the “H. Ernie Bishop Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119.
Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.