John Carl Bishop, 78, former CIA operations officer

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John Carl Bishop
John Carl Bishop

John Carl Bishop died peacefully at home on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, in Williamsburg, Va.

Born in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18, 1938, he was preceded in death by his parents, Louis Bishop and Elizabeth Potter Bishop; and his brothers, William McKinley Bishop and Edward Louis Potter Bishop.

His very early years were spent in Arlington, Va.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Salt Lake City, Utah, and Pasadena, Calif. In 1944, his family moved to Lake Placid, N.Y., where he graduated from the Northwood School in 1956. He went on to attend Georgetown University and The American University in Washington, D.C., receiving degrees in history and in international relations in 1960. He then graduated from the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., and served aboard a variety of Navy ships, including a tour as an exchange officer with the Royal Navy.

From the Navy, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served as an operations officer for 33 years, rising to senior positions overseas and at headquarters. He then served as a contract employee for another 10 years. His overseas tours with the CIA included Bonn and Berlin, Germany; the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Vietnam (where he was wounded in the line of duty), The Netherlands and Canada. He also had temporary assignments in Switzerland, France, Austria and the U.K. John received three medals for valor during his years of overseas service.

As a young man, he played ice hockey and football at Northwood School in Lake Placid and was an avid race car driver, including for Team Ferrari, in his early 20’s. In 2015, Northwood recognized him for his contributions to his country with the Navy and the CIA as well as his involvement in athletics.

He remained a football and hockey fan throughout his life as well as an automobile devotee. He particularly enjoyed attending UVA football games with his family and friends. Dogs were always a major part of his life from early childhood until his death. John pursued his passion for history throughout his life, particularly World War II naval history. His love for the sea led John and his wife to spend their summers in the Canadian Maritimes, particularly on Prince Edward Island.

Above all, his family and friends were most important to him, including some of whom he kept up with since elementary school.

John passed away after a long battle with multiple myeloma and is survived by his wife of 52 years, Judith Jatinen Bishop of Williamsburg; daughter, Jennifer Bishop Parish, and her husband, James, of Poquoson, Va.; son, David Louis Bishop, and his wife, Jennifer; and his two grandchildren, Madeline and Nathaniel, all of Vienna, Va. In addition, he cared very much for his nieces and nephews, Lisa Hooker, Matthew Bishop, John Bishop, Cindy Jones and Wendy Strebe. The staff at Virginia Oncology Associates, especially Dr. Christina Prillaman and Susan Hubbard, R.N., provided exceptional care and support as they guided John through his battle with cancer.

Those who wish may make memorials to the Northwood School in Lake Placid, N.Y., or to your local animal shelter or rescue.

Visitation with the family will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. Both will be at Nelsen Funeral Home in Williamsburg, Va. Mr. Bishop’s ashes will be scattered in Lake Placid.