Elroy Michael Bishop of Diamondhead passed away on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at the age of 91 to be reunited with his wife of 71 years, Mary P. Bishop.
Born at home on March 23, 1931 in Louisville, Kentucky, Roy was raised on a farm by his mother, Lucille Saunders Steinmetz, and grandparents, Sarah and Thomas Saunders. He was an adventurous child with a curiosity that often got him into trouble. After dropping out of school in the 8th grade a judge “convinced” him to join the military and he spent 2 years in the US Coast Guard. While home on leave, after transferring into the newly formed US Air Force, he walked into a five-and-dime store where he met the love of his life, Patsy McGarry. Mom & Dad were married on June 23, 1950.
SMSgt Roy Bishop served an illustrious 20+ years in the USAF from the Korean War to the Viet Nam era in March, 1970. While serving, Roy and Pat had 5 children, all born in different states. His last assignment was with a C-141 squadron at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas.
After his military career, Roy went to work for Solar Turbines in New Orleans, Louisiana, rising through their ranks and earning prestigious assignments in Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium. He retired from Solar in 1990 and retired first to Gretna, Louisiana, then to Diamondhead, Mississippi in 2000. He and Pat continued their travels and adventures together until forced by Pat’s health to stay close to home.
Roy was a distinguished and proud member of Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church. He was devoted to helping rebuild many of the furnishings in the church after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He also delighted in woodworking. OLG is not the only area church to have his woodworking skills on display. He also made beautiful items from cabinets and dining room tables to clocks, pens, and pepper grinders, never accepting any payment for his work. In addition, there are hundreds of homes everywhere that have his famed wine cork trivets.
He was a devoted husband to Pat as she suffered with Alzheimer’s disease, caring for her every need until she died at home on Jan 17, 2019. He spent his final years surrounded by beautiful memories of their life together and visited her grave every Friday, birthday, anniversary, holiday and the 17th of each month (always sending family pictures so that we could feel close to mom from miles away!)
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Patricia Bishop (McGarry), in addition to his mother and grandparents, his daughter Patricia Fitzgerald, his granddaughter Melanie and his sons-in-law Pete Fitzgerald and most recently Wayne Stinson. In addition, his sister Betty Mills, his wife’s parents Joseph and Helen McGarry and eight of their children have also passed.
He is survived by his daughters Elizabeth Oliver (Cliff), Martha Stinson, Sarah Bishop (Joe Reisdorf) and his only son Bruce (Audrey). He was blessed with 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, many extended family members and a first great-great grandchild on the way!
Services will be held on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church: 228 South Beach Blvd. in Bay St. Louis, MS. Visitation will begin at 10:45 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. Internment with military honors will take place at the Biloxi National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Alzheimer’s Association in Madison, Wisconsin: 2820 Walton Commons Lane #132 Madison, WI 53718 (online at https://www.alz.org/)
On a final note we, the family, would also like to express our gratitude to Dr. David Roberts, Natasha, and Leanne as well as the rest of the staff at the Memorial Clinic in Diamondhead for all of the loving care they provided to both of our parents over the years.