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Blake Bishop

 

Blake Bishop

Blakely Lee Bishop, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 28, 2015 at 94 years old after a brief stay at the Evergreen Care Center in The Dalles, OR.

Blake was a life-long Washingtonian, having been born on January 12, 1921 in Dayton, WA to Clarence Leroy Bishop (chicken hatcher) and Ina Ruth Bishop (school teacher). Clarence and Ina shared a last name, but were not related as he was from Sacramento, CA and she was from Dayton, WA.

Blake was the oldest of four children growing up in the depression. Besides helping on the family chicken farm, Blake earned extra money topping onions to help support his family. He credited his upbringing for giving him a strong work ethic.

When not working, Blake loved playing sports. He was a gifted athlete, and grew up playing softball with the famous softball player, Eddie Feigner. He was asked to play ball with The King and His Court, but declined the offer.

Having left high school to go to work full-time, Blake was a huge proponent of education. He was proud of the fact that his mother, wife, daughter and granddaughter all were educators.

Blake was rejected for military service during World War II because of his asthma. He chose to help the war effort by working at Boeing. Blake appreciated the service of all veterans and was especially proud of his son Jim's tours in Vietnam, and his son-in-law's tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both earned Purple Hearts and Blake often commented on their heroism.

Blake was a true entrepreneur and held jobs as a motel owner, a trailer park manager, a trail ride tour guide (owning 16 horses), a prison guard at the Walla Walla Penitentiary, a policeman in College Place, WA, an apple orchardist, and started Bishop's Sanitary Service. Blake was very proud of the fact that he was a self-made man.

After selling his Sanitary Service to Edgar Holbrooke in 1979, Blake enjoyed forty years of retirement. He was a life-long motorcycle and classic car enthusiast. Blake once drove a classic car, with no roof, all the way across the country from South Carolina to Washington. At the age of 90 years old, Blake drove his Honda Scooter from Goldendale to Chelan (a distance of over 200 miles) and was stopped by the highway patrol outside of Ellensburg simply because they couldn't believe a man of his age was driving a scooter at 60 miles an hour!

Having spent so many long hours working as a young man, Blake took full advantage of his retirement time to travel extensively. Along with his wife, Claire, he spent several winters in Desert Hot Springs, CA. They often traveled to San Diego, CA, Ft. Benning, GA and O'ahu, Hawaii to visit daughter Debbie's family. Blake also drove to Kent, WA up until the age of 90 to visit his son, Jerry, and his family.

Besides collecting classic cars, Blake also loved collecting friends from all walks of life and all ages of life. He was blessed with an outgoing personality, a great sense of humor, and the "gift of gab." A day wasn't complete for Blake until he had enjoyed conversations with several people. Once it became difficult to leave his home, the telephone was a lifeline for Blake. He actually slept with the phone next to him so he wouldn't miss a chance to talk with whoever should call.

Many Goldendale residents remember Blake walking with his Rottweiler, Mac, from High Street to the post office and back. They enjoyed stopping by many local businesses and talking with passers by on their daily jaunt. Blake trained Mac to carry the mail in his mouth, with the mail only becoming slightly moist from Mac's saliva!

Blake was incredibly generous to all he knew. If a friend were in need, Blake would be the first one to offer aid and support. He was a thoughtful person and enjoyed trying to make the world a better place.

Blake was a lifetime animal lover, and besides having a dog at all times by his side, he enjoyed Claire's adopted stray cats, the wild turkeys, quail, and deer that often visited the Bishop's backyard on High Street.

Blake is survived by his wife of fifty-five years, Claire Minouflet Bishop of Goldendale, WA, his son, Jim Bishop (Jeanie) of Chelan, WA, his daughter, Debbie Bishop Wilson (Dan) of Oahu, HI, his son, Jerry Bishop (Traci) of Kent, WA, grandchildren, Jeff (Angie) Bishop of Chelan, WA, Chris (Sara) Bishop of Chelan, WA, Kristin Wilson of O'ahu, HI, Evan Wilson of Berkeley, CA, Morgan and Bryce Bishop of Kent, WA and seven great-grandchildren all in Chelan, WA.

Blake was a fifty-five year Goldendale resident. He hoped to live independently with Claire in his own home until his death. In order to do so, it took daily help from many wonderful friends. Blake's family would like to acknowledge all the care and support from the true friends including: the Allphins, Holbrooks, Lefevers, Passengers, Wings, Greens, Janice Nicholson, Marilyn Wilson, and numerous other Goldendale residents.

In accordance with Blake's wishes, no funeral service is planned. A celebration of his life is planned for the summer of 2015.

 

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