Alice Bishop has, throughout her life, exemplified what it means to be a Christian and to be a committed church member. She has left her mark on Central Woodward and with her death on May 28th losing her will be felt deeply by many, both inside and outside the church. Alice became a member of Central Woodward on May 1, 1955, transferring from Northwestern Christian Church of Detroit, a church her family was instrumental in founding.
At the time of her death Alice remained busy with the business of the church. She continued in her longstanding work as “chief volunteer,” though she was in the midst of training others to handle her duties. She dutifully came in each Wednesday to help prepare the bulletin and filled in for Linda in our office when Linda was on vacation. Not only was she helping with office duties, she was also the current Director of Personnel. A last projects has been marshaling through to completion are a new Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual, she wished to hone these policies to ensure the best environment for our employees and our congregation. Of course Alice has held many other positions including: President of the Congregation, Vice President of Growth, Membership Chair, and Moderator of the Deacons to name just a few. She has always been a strong and prayerful support to the pastors and lay leaders of this church.
But who was Alice Bishop? In her obituary, which in true “Alice style” she wrote herself, we learn that she was born May 7, 1926 to Stephen and Gertrude Bishop, the eldest of five girls. Three of her sisters survive her, along with 12 nieces and nephews, 32 grand nieces and nephews, and 13 great grand nieces and nephews. She graduated from Cooley High School in Detroit, and then Wayne State University. She earned two masters degrees and specialist degrees from the University of Michigan. She taught for a time at the Army Dependent Schools in Tokyo, and then for thirty-eight years Alice taught in the Detroit Public School system as a health and PE teacher, guidance counselor, and head of the Guidance Department. She coached swimming and tennis and refereed for field hockey, basketball, and volleyball. She particularly loved to play golf.
Alice will be laid to rest Thursday at Acacia Cemetery in Beverly Hills, after a funeral service at Central Woodward Christian Church. The service will be held at 11:00 am, a service that Alice, again in typical “Alice style”, largely planned. Immediately following the service, there will be a brief service of committal at the cemetery and then we will return to the church for a meal. Alice has asked that donations in her memory be given to the Endowment Fund of Central Woodward Christian Church.
Alice Bishop was a unique and wonderful servant of God, a spectacular role model and an excellent teacher. We have been blessed to have known her and served with her, and we can take comfort in the knowledge that God has welcomed her into His presence with these words of commendation: “Well done, Good and faithful servant” (Mt. 25:23).