John Bishop to be laid to rest Thursday in Versailles
Local marine killed
news that every military family never wants to hear was brought
home last week as the Bishop family learned their beloved marine
had been killed.
Marine Corporal John C. Bishop, 25, had served two tours in Iraq
and was on his third tour, the first in Afghanistan, when his
convoy was ambushed and he was fatally wounded on September 8,
2010, while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to the
2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.
Ripley County officials were quick to bring the flags at the Veterans
Memorial on the courthouse lawn to half mast to honor the fallen
marine. Wayne Peace, county environmental specialist and emergency
management director, contacted the commissioners and veterans
service officer, Ken Hylton, to follow proper procedure. Then,
he, along with superior court bailiff and retired marine Jim Purdy,
and circuit court bailiff, Dave Schmaltz, lowered the flags.
Cpl. Bishop leaves behind his wife, Cpl. Crystal Bishop, who is
expecting the couples daughter in October. Crystal is a
marine from upstate New York who he met on base. She has also
served in Iraq, but was stationed in North Carolina at the time
of her husbands death.
The couple was married December 15, 2009, with family members
saying although Bishop was 64" and Crystal was much
smaller they were a perfect match.
She (Crystal) kept him in line, laughed Mike Bishop
of Versailles, brother of the fallen hero.
A four-year-old son from a previous marriage, K-Sean, will also
miss his daddy. Mikes laughter quickly turned to tears as
he noted, He (John) loved that little boy so much.
Cpl. Bishop loved children.
According to Ripley Publishing Co. files, he told this writer
stories of a tour he had been on in Iraq when home on leave in
2005. What you dont always see on TV is the marines
giving candy to the little kids. He had a broad smile and
twinkle in his eye when he spoke of the children. At the time
he was a 20-year-old who didnt have any children of his
His nieces and nephews were all special to him. Family members
told the Osgood Journal he would always dedicate a day
to them when he came home on leave. He always made sure
he got to spend time with each of them, Mike noted.
A comment given by his niece, It wont be the same
without Uncle John-John, was a sentiment echoed by all his
Cpl. Bishop was a family man. He always enjoyed the homecoming
or going away parties given by his extensive family. He has eight
siblings, who all have their special memories.
His mother, Sarah Thomas, lives in Columbus now, but has strong
ties to Ripley County. She worked for the county in the health
department several years ago and has many family members still
in the area.
When her son was home in July of this year, he expressed his wishes
for final internment should something happen.
When Sarah got the news she knew her son wanted to be buried next
to his father, Gene Bishop, at the Cliff Hill Cemetery in Versailles.
Gene was so proud of his marine son. Before he passed away in
2006, he told anyone who would listen about John.
Memories of a life shared with so many were shared last week as
Cpl. Bishop was remembered.
You should tell people everyday that you love them,
was advice given by the marines aunt, Charlene Keck, as
she wiped away the tears. She works in the countys vital
records division, along with her daughter, Susann Abdon.
He was just genuinely a good boy - a very good soul,
Keck told the Osgood Journal. He was always hugging
Susann agreed. She shared her cousins fun loving side. She
recalled a going away party where John broke out in song
to the amazement of his family. He was quite the entertainer,
Laughter and tears would be emotions displayed by everyone who
had stories to tell.
Becky Horn, a close family friend, remembered him as a gangly
kid who was always bugging us. She was friends with
his step-sister, Cathy, and spent a lot of time at the Bishop
home in Versailles and has plenty of good times to remember. She
also recalled when Bishop came home when his father died. I
just couldnt believe how grown up he was. The skinny
kid was gone - and a strong, muscular marine in full uniform stood
Little known was the fact that Bishop played in a band called
Kabella, according to Horn. She said she regrets not going to
hear him when he was home on leave once and begged her to come.
According to Ripley Publishing Co. files, Cpl. Bishop told The
Versailles Republican, I always wanted to be a marine.
While he said his brother, Tyson, influenced him, he said it wasnt
the ultimate deciding factor.
Bishop signed up in 2002 in the Delayed Entry Program. After graduating
from Southwestern Shelby High School in 2003, he was on his way
to fulfilling his dream.
Before that, Bishop spent a year at South Ripley High School in
Versailles, where he made may friendships.
While on tour in Iraq, Belinda Mockbees 7th grade class
at South Ripley wrote the marine letters. About those letters,
Bishop said, Its the best. He loved getting
letters and packages from home and visited the class who wrote
him on one return trip home. He also surprised one of his nieces
at Jac-Cen-Del school by visiting there as well.
The tough marine is described by family members as a fun-loving
guy one who made those around him laugh.
Oh, yes, he was quite a character, noted his brother
Sister to the fallen hero, Amy Parker of Osgood, echoed her brother,
saying he was always one-up on everyone. Even when
they tried to surprise him once at the airport he came in the
back way and actually surprised them!
She never dreamed her brothers trip home in July would be
the last time she would see him alive. Amy told the Osgood
Journal You hear on the news about soldiers killed,
but you just cant image it will happen to you.
Once when her brother was home on leave and the family was celebrating,
he told them to continue to pray for his military brothers and
sisters still in harms way. Thats what kind
of a guy he was, she noted.
Mike shared that his brother wasnt looking forward to the
tour he was on. He just wanted to do his duty and get home,
he noted. He said Bishop had plans to become a conservation officer
since he loved the outdoors so much.
As Marine Cpl. Bishop is being hailed a hero - a brave marine
who gave his life in the line of duty, his brother, Mike, told
the Osgood Journal, Hes our brother.
The memories of a little boy who grew into a man everyone wanted
to be around are what the family of Cpl. Bishop will carry in
their hearts as they try to make sense of this senseless tragedy.
will be held Thursday, September 16 at 11:00 a.m. at the Versailles
Baptist Church for Cpl. John C. Bishop, 25, of Camp Lejeune, North
Carolina, who passed away Wednesday, September 8, 2010. Pastor
Bob Lay will officiate the services.
Cpl. Bishop was a squad leader assigned to the 2nd Battalion,
9th Marine Regiment, and was killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
He was promoted to Corporal March 1, 2007. He deployed in support
of Operation Iraqi Freedom from June 2004 to January 2005 and
September 2005 to March 2006. Most recently he deployed in support
of Operating Enduring Freedom in July 2010.
Cpl. Bishop's awards include the Navy Unit Commendation Medal,
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal,
Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on
Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service
Visitation will be Wednesday, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Versailles
Baptist Church Family Life Center.
Burial will be in the Cliff Hill Cemetery in Versailles where
he will be taken to his final resting place by a horse drawn caisson.He
will be buried with full military honors.
Cpl. Bishop was born at Batesville on October 17, 1984, the son
of Eugene and Sarah Kenens Bishop and was married to Crystal Cade
on December 15, 2009.
Survivors include his wife, Cpl. Crystal Bishop of Camp Lejeune,
North Carolina; one son, K-Sean Bishop; his mother, Sarah Thomas
of Columbus; brothers William (Martha) Bishop of Moores Hill;
Mike (Peggy) Bishop of Versailles; Anthony (Cathleen) Thomas,
Eric (Missy) Thomas of Seymour; Jamey (Tammy) Bishop of Hurricane,
West Virginia; and Tyson (Tara) Bishop of Indianapolis. Sisters
include Nancy (Bruce) Braley of New Paris, Pennsylvania; and Amy
(Ryan) Parker of Osgood. He is also survived by two grandmothers,
Beulah Lamb of Versailles and June (Tom) Ramey of North Vernon.
Cpl. Bishop attended South Ripley High School as a junior and
was a 2003 graduate of Southwestern Shelby High School.
Memorials may be given to benefit Cpl. Bishops children
in care of the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home at PO Box 84, Versailles,
IN 47042. Online condolences made be made at skfuneralhome.com.
John C. Bishop
The hearse carrying the body of fallen
Marine Cpl. John C. Bishop came through the town of Versailles
flanked by State Police motorcycles and other police vehicles
in the procession that came from the North Vernon airstrip
to the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles.
Family members followed the hearse with Patriot Guard
Riders staying close to the family throughout the procession.