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'Awesome, artistic' Carrie Bishop's faith sustained her through illness

December 02, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back - through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others - at a member of the community who died recently. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about Carrie Michele Bishop, who died Nov. 19 at the age of 46. Her obituary was published in The Herald-Mail on Nov. 21.

Carrie Michele Bishop didn't miss holding her first grandchild in her arms.

"She was in the delivery room when he arrived," said her mother, Joan Crum.

Landon Ender Bishop, now one month old, is the son of Jon and Sarah Bishop.

But Landon won't remember that first embrace and will only know his grandmother through pictures, stories and the memories of Carrie shared by her family and friends.

Carrie Bishop died Nov. 19, after a four-year battle with ovarian cancer.

Carrie's whole life revolved around family - her three sisters and two brothers, then her husband, Steve, and their two sons, Jon and Josh.

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Her second passion was teaching - first her own sons and then other people's sons and daughters.

After graduating from North Hagerstown High School, Carrie set off for Bob Jones University in South Carolina.

She later finished her degree at Antietam Bible College in Washington County.

When her sons were young, Carrie homeschooled them through to their high school graduations. For nine years, she taught at Broadfording Christian Academy.

"Carrie was an awesome fan of BCA," Joan said.

Because Carrie taught there, her sons were eligible to play sports at the school.

Joan said her daughter taught art, health, science and home economics.

"So many of her students said she was the best teacher they ever had," said her sister, Robin Iseminger said.

A younger sister by four years, Robin hosted a baby shower for Carrie's first grandchild at the Firehouse Grill restaurant she operates out of the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co. building.

This past summer, Carrie worked at the restaurant with her sister until her illness returned.

"I did a eulogy for my sister using letters of the alphabet," Robin said.

For "A," Robin chose the words active, awesome and artistic.

"She was a good big sister, and we spent a lot of time together," Robin said.

That bond was strengthened when both married and had children.

Steve, Carrie's husband of 24 years, said he met Carrie through a friend of his and his friend's girlfriend in March 1982. They got to know each other on that double date.

"She was a church-goer at Emmanuel Baptist Temple, and we began to go to church together," Steve said, noting that he needed that kind of stability at that time in his life.

Joan said the family liked Steve but wanted Carrie to finish school before they married. That didn't happen, but Joan said she was pleased that Carrie finished college after the couple married in September 1983.

Carrie first got sick with ovarian cancer in 2003, but later that year it went into remission, Robin said.

"Few knew about this illness, so I focused on learning more about it," she said.

Steve said both of their sons are taking Carrie's death hard, especially Josh, the younger of the two.

"Josh is planning to join the military, and Carrie was in favor of that," Steve said.

Jon works for Pepsi and Josh is a FedEx employee.

Dealing with the loss of his wife has taken its toll on Steve, but he said he is warmed by the outpouring of support and love he and the boys have received from family and friends.

"Anyone who knew her will never forget her," Steve said.

Joan echoed that belief in light of her daughter's great faith, which sustained her and those close to her in recent months.

"Many told us of how Carrie hung in there," Joan said. "She was a strong fighter."

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