Memorial services for Ernest Eugene Bishop Jr., 91 of Mobile, Alabama, were held Saturday December 11, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Radney Funeral Home( 3155 Dauphin St Mobile, AL 36608) with Terry Richey and Dr Drew Gunnels officiating. Visitation was held from 11:30 a.m. to the time of the service. Burial followed at Old Springhill Cemetery. He went home to be with the Lord on December 8, 2021.
The firstborn child of Ernest Eugene and Clara Davis Bishop, Ernest Eugene Bishop Jr. was born May 5, 1930 in Swainsboro and grew up on his grandfather’s cotton farm.
At the age of 17, he left Swainsboro to find work in Savannah with Morrison’s Cafeteria “dippin’ peas” on the steam line. During his career with Morrison’s, he had the distinction of being the youngest district manager and vice president in the company history. In 1981, he was promoted to chief executive officer. Throughout his tenure as CEO, the company grew from $300 million to $1 billion in annual revenue, and he presided over the most profitable decade in Morrison’s 70-year history. Stating he was never motivated by ego or money, he credited his achievements as the result of a strong work ethic, a deep sense of humility, and 100 percent dedication.
Mr. Bishop always freely gave his time to others and served on numerous corporate boards and charitable organizations, including The Salvation Army, Mobile Area Boy Scouts of America, Alabama Governors Finance Committee, Julius T. Wrights School, South Trust Bank of Mobile (board member), Infirmary Health Systems of Mobile (chairman), Delchamps Inc., Mobile Bay Partnership for Youth, and the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
After retiring in 1994, he enjoyed traveling with his wife, Melba, and spending summers at their home in the mountains of Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. He was happiest when he was surrounded with his ever-growing family and friends. He also enjoyed staying busy with woodworking and tinkering, often building special projects with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Papa’s workshop.
Mr. Bishop was an active member of Springhill Baptist Church and Lake Toxaway Baptist Church. He was a strong patriarch for his family and a friend to all. He was a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who always encouraged his loved ones to put family first, work hard, and keep the Lord in your life. He is loved and will be missed by many.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 72 years, Melba Hooks Bishop; his five children, Ernest Eugene Bishop III (Anga), Gary Nixon Bishop (Dawn), Timothy Craig Bishop (Kate), Julie Bishop Weinacker (Jimmy), and Laura Bishop Escue (Mike); and his 18 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and spouses, totaling 64 family members. He is also survived by his brother Wendell Bishop (Susan), and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest Eugene Bishop Sr. and Clara Davis Bishop; his brother, Gerald Bishop; and his sister, Joyce Bishop Webb.
The family would like to thank all the wonderful nurses, caregivers, and staff at SAAD Hospice Facility and Retreat as well as Evon Mitchell for the love and care that she showed their dad and continues to show their sweet mom.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Springhill Baptist Church and SAAD Hospice Facility and Retreat.
Radney Funeral Home of Mobile, Alabama was in charge of arrangements.