Family of man killed in Labrador plane crash say Frank Bishop Jr. was a 'heart and soul' guy

Terry Roberts
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A man family and friends say could fix anything, who hated failure and would do his utmost to help others, is being mourned in Conception Bay North.

Many say Frank Bishop Jr. of Cupids was the kind of guy who left an impression, whether he was wearing his trademark coveralls and welder's hat, donning a bunker suit or sitting around a council table attired in casual clothes.

Frank Bishop Jr. of Cupids died in last week's crash of a small plane in Labrador. The well-known community leader is shown here with his favourite drink, a glass of Old Sam dark rum. - Submitted photo

A man family and friends say could fix anything, who hated failure and would do his utmost to help others, is being mourned in Conception Bay North.

Many say Frank Bishop Jr. of Cupids was the kind of guy who left an impression, whether he was wearing his trademark coveralls and welder's hat, donning a bunker suit or sitting around a council table attired in casual clothes.

Bishop, 45, was the only passenger on the twin-engine Piper aircraft that crashed in Labrador last week.

Both he and the pilot, 38-year-old Happy Valley-Goose Bay resident Paul Deering, died in the crash. The plane went down Wednesday morning during a flight from Goose Bay to Cartwright.

The wreckage was discovered Friday night by a military helicopter about 90 kilometres west of Cartwright. Bishop, an employee with Quin-Sea Fisheries, was on his way to Black Tickle to activate the local seafood processing plant. It was something he had done for the past 25 years, said Aubrey Bishop, Frank's younger brother.

"There's no way to prepare for something like this. And dealing with it is very rough," Aubrey said Monday morning.

Bishop and his wife, Bernice, have three adult children: Trenton, Gregory and Cassandra.

Bishop was a community leader who doted on his family, and was highly respected by his peers, Aubrey added.

"Cupids will never be the same," said Aubrey.

Bishop was a member of the Cupids town council, a volunteer firefighter with the newly activated Bay de Grave brigade, and a member of the Cupids Soiree committee.

He took care of maintenence at the Cupids fish plant and was well-known to the fishermen who landed their catch there.

He was also a member of the Bay de Grave regional services board, and was a driving force behind the creation of the new fire department, which serves Cupids, South River, Makinsons, Clarke's Beach and North River.

The brotherhood of volunteer firefighters in the region is feeling the loss, said fire chief Jeremy Hall.

"He was one of the hardest workers you'll ever see and the kind of guy that, no matter what he was doing, he would put his heart and soul into it," said Hall.

To those who knew him, he was Mr. Fix-It. He had no formal training, but could repair just about anything.

"He always said that if a man made it, a man can fix it," Aubrey said.

Hall recalled a situation where four emergency pagers were deemed unrepairable by a certified technician. Bishop got three of them working again.

"That's the kind of guy he was," said Hall.

Part of his legacy will be the 1971 Ford pumper truck that he restored almost single-handedly, with considerable help from his father, Frank Sr.

The old pumper will lead the funeral procession, said Hall.

Bishop loved music and enjoyed a party, and that usually meant he had a glass of Old Sam dark rum in his hand, Aubrey recalled.

He was always chewing gum, or had a piece stuck behind his ear if he was eating or drinking.

"What can I say? I've lost my best friend," Aubrey said.

Funeral arrangements are not yet finalized.

troberts@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Quin-Sea Fisheries, Cupids Soiree committee

Geographic location: Labrador, Goose Bay, Cartwright Happy Valley Black Tickle South River North River

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  • darls
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    So sorry for your loss ...by the sound of it Mr. Bishop was a fine man...be strong and rest in peace Mr. Bishop

  • Tanya
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Sorry for your loss. As a childhood friend of Paul's I can understand to some extent the pain you feel today. May your memories give you solace. RIP Mr Bishop.

  • darls
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    So sorry for your loss ...by the sound of it Mr. Bishop was a fine man...be strong and rest in peace Mr. Bishop

  • Tanya
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Sorry for your loss. As a childhood friend of Paul's I can understand to some extent the pain you feel today. May your memories give you solace. RIP Mr Bishop.