Albert Brewer Bishop • March 15th, 1931 – March 20th, 2017
The Legacy of 4th Generation Bishop
Albert Brewer Bishop, 86, died peacefully at home on March 20, 2017. He was a proud lifelong resident of Guilford having been born at the Whitfield Sanatorium on March 15, 1931, son of Nettie Brewer and Arthur F. Bishop, and loving step-son to Ruth Whittier Bishop after the early passing of his mother. He attended Guilford Schools, graduating as Salutatorian of the GHS Class of 1949. Al attended the University of Connecticut, majoring in Olericulture and Pomology. Al married Barbara Juniver on June 20, 1953. They each received their BS degrees in 1954 and celebrated their 63rd anniversary in 2016. Al served his country as a 1st Lieutenant in the USAF Security Service, assigned to duty in Germany from 1954-1956.
Al joined Bishop’s Orchards in 1957, becoming the 4th generation to actively participate in the growth of the family business by overseeing the production of small fruits, vegetables, and cider, and the packing line sales operations. Al was active in Guilford community and Connecticut Agricultural organizations, over the course of his life holding positions in the Connecticut Pomological Society, Connecticut Farm Bureau, Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station Associates, Connecticut Vegetable Growers, UCONN College of Agriculture Alumni Board of Directors, First Congregational Church of Guilford, Eagle Hose Volunteer Fire Dept, Guilford Community Fund, Alderbrook Cemetery Assn, and a Charter Member of the Guilford Land Conservation Trust. He was active in supporting many other groups.
Al founded and sponsored the 4-H FIRST Robotics Apple Pi Team 2067, inspired by watching an energetic competition by his grandson Seth’s team. Apple Pi was the first team with a farm as a major sponsor. Exposing students to Vocational Studies and STEM learning were important to Al. The program has blossomed as a fun way to motivate and teach students, leading many alumni to STEM college paths and jobs. The Apple Pi team was his pride and joy over the last 10 years. Al was also dedicated to making the most of his life with Parkinson’s Disease while supporting the search for a cure.
Al is survived by his wife Barbara, their 4 children, 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. Albert and Barbara are the proud parents of Keith [Debbie] Bishop of Guilford, Craig [Natalie] Bishop of Biglerville PA, Diane [Peter] van der Grinten of Guilford, David [Lynne] Bishop of Bedford, NH and grandparents of Sarah [John] DellaVentura; Allison [Charlie] Pasquier; Carrie [Matt] Healy; Ryan Bishop; Meghan [Brian] Paher; Laura [Nathan] Smelser; Catherine Bishop; Nicole and Caitlin van der Grinten; Seth and Emily Bishop. They are great-grandparents to Grace and Abigail DellaVentura; Nathanael and Timothy Paher; Lia, Titus and Benjamin Smelser; and Addison and Nora Healy. Al is also survived by his sister Grace B. Russell of Bolivar, Missouri, his brother Harold R. Bishop of Woodstock, CT, and Barbara ‘Babs’ Weinen of Nuremberg, Germany, a special “German daughter” to Al and his wife, living with the Bishop family for her Senior Year at GHS ’77 and with whom the whole family has had numerous intercontinental exchanges.
A memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm on Monday, April 3, 2017 at the First Congregational Church of Guilford followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall. Burial will be private.
Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to First Congregational Church, Trustees Endowment Fund, 122 Broad Street, Guilford, CT 06437; 4-H FIRST Apple Pi Robotics Team#2067, 455 Great Hill Rd, Guilford, CT 06437, UCONN College of Agriculture Al and Barbara Scholarship Fund, 2390 Alumni Dr. Unit 3206 Storrs CT 06269, or the Al & Gene Bishop Scholarship Fund for Vocational and Industrial Arts, ℅ Guilford Foundation, PO Box 35, Guilford, CT 06437