Donald Jack Bishop

Janis & Don Bishop
Janis & Don Bishop

Don was born on the 12th of October 1922 in a home south of 4800 South on 2nd West in Murray. Utah to Matthew John Bishop and Rebecca Birch. He is the second child of six. An older brother, Russell, and younger sisters, Betty, Lois,

Marilyn and Maurine (twins), younger brother Robert Edwin, and half sister Patsy Joann Caldwell. He lived in Murray most of his growing-up years. Attended Bonnyview Elementary school and Murray Junior and High schools, being graduated from the latter in 1940. He worked for the Wood family of Murray during his summers while going to school, both on their large dry farm, part of where Kearns now stands, and also in the gravel pits, hauling sand and gravel for a lot of the homes in Holladay and Salt Lake.

His mother was quite ill after Don was born and so his older brother went to live with “Grandma and Grandpa Birch”, really an Uncle and Aunt of theirs. He remained there while growing up even though they were only a few hundred feet away. His mother also had a hearing problem that worsened with each pregnancy, but still had a family of eight. Don inherited the hearing problem and has difficulty hearing.

He was a typical teenager, pulling pranks on Halloween, tipping over out-houses or relocating them, throwing rotten tomatoes at cars on 4800 South. Money was very scarce for them. His father suffered from arthritis and black lung disease. He was crippled and bed-ridden for six years before he died at the age of 39. His mother had a drinking problem and Don, being the oldest at home, had to work at anything he could find to earn money and help the family survive. He used to pick up coal on the railroad tracks to sell and help keep them warm through the winter. The Woods family knew of their plight and he started to work for them at the young age of twelve.

He joined the navy on September 6, 1942 and went to San Diego for basic training, then on to radio school at Madison, Wisconsin for 4 months. He then went to submarine training at New London, Connecticut for 3½ months. From there he went to San Francisco and over to Hawaii where he was assigned to the USS Spearfish.

He had been corresponding with his wife to be, Janis Hintze, throughout his time in the service and after completing his duty runs on the sub, he came back to Mare Island at Vallejo, California for repairs and servicing in June of 1944. He and Janis were married on July 31, 1944 at her parents home in Taylorsville, Utah. The marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on October 17, 1946. OH what a joyous day!

His mother married William Allen Caldwell, better known as Pat, in 1940, and had a son, William Allen, Jr. Don became quite close friends with him. He worked for the Woods family too, even after Don had gone into the service. His mother had one more child with Pat, Patsy Joann, born in 1941. While he was in the service overseas, his step-brother, Billy, was killed in a tragic accident at the age of 16. A gravel truck bed fell on him and crushed him. This was very hard for Don because that was work he used to do.

When he came home from the service and set up housekeeping, jobs were scarce and he worked for Wood’s again. He also worked for Utah Construction Company, was a butcher and meat delivery man for Jordan Meat and Livestock, drove a diesel truck for Johnson Oil Company and worked as a diesel mechanic for McMurdie Co. During these years (from 1948 to 1958) he and Janis had 7 children, 5 daughters and 2 sons. Barbara Ann died shortly after birth; the others are, Dawna Jean, Linda Jane, Laurie Jo, Gayle Ann, Matthew Jack, and Kenneth Edwin. They are all married and (as of this time) Don has been blessed with 19 grandchildren, 13 girls and 6 boys.