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Memorial garden honors beloved teacher

East Union Middle School held a groundbreaking ceremony in the school’s courtyard on August 28, 2008, for the Judi Bishop Memorial Garden. Bishop was a teacher at the school and died suddenly this past April from a brain aneurysm. Pictured are, from left, her husband, Larry Bishop; (Larry Bishop’s sister) Teresa Caine and East Union Middle School principal Kevin Plue.

 Judi Bishop taught at East Union Middle School for a dozen years. She was passionate about her students, with the philosophy that in order to make a difference, she would become involved in their lives.
On the morning of April 30, 2008, like so many mornings in her life, Judi had gotten dressed and was preparing to leave her home to head for the classroom, but a brain aneurysm claimed her life at the age of 64.
In an attempt to honor her memory, East Union Middle School staff and students are creating the Judi Bishop Memorial Garden. Her name will continue to be associated with educating children at the school, as once the garden is completed, it will become a learning tool.
“We are very humbled and appreciative at what the school is doing in Judi’s memory,” said her husband, Larry Bishop following the August 28, 2008, groundbreaking ceremony. “She taught a lot of years and she enjoyed every minute of it. She loved the faculty and the students.”
Teresa Caine, Larry Bishop’s sister, was also at the August 28, 2008, ceremony. “What they’re doing is wonderful,” she said. “It is going to be beautiful, a great tribute to a lovely lady.”
East Union principal Kevin Plue said the idea for the garden was a collective effort of the school staff, taken on by visual arts teacher, Elaine Benner. The staff from Evergreen Landscaping in Marshville has partnered with the school and will provide the time and labor for the project. “This will make it much more affordable for the school,” Plue said.
The garden will be placed in the school’s courtyard, with plans to eventually include a plaque commemorating Judi Bishop. The garden’s upkeep will be mostly taken care of by students.
Plue said her students truly loved Judi Bishop and she was a positive force in their young lives. “She was dedicated to the success of her students. She really cared about them, they knew it and they performed well for her.”
Phase one of the garden will involve the ground preparation, which is ongoing at present. Phase two will begin this fall and involve planting the garden’s foundation shrubbery. Phase three will commence in the spring and involve planting a variety of flowers.
Students, parents and former students will be invited to participate in the planting process, giving life to the memorial garden that honors this dedicated teacher.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: Sep 04, 2008 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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