Norma Ethel Bishop

Norma Ethel Bishop, 85, of St. Ignace, MI and Englewood, FL passed away peacefully on November 25, 2022, at Tidewell Hospice House in Port Charlotte, FL after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020.

A world without Norma? Unimaginable. She was one of those people who was supposed to live forever. Feisty, funny, cantankerous, witty, ornery, spicy, irreverent. And a life-long devout Catholic. She was all of that.

Norma was born and raised in St. Ignace, MI, to Norman and Dorothy (née McLeod) Paquin. She attended LaSalle High School (Class of ‘54) and worked several jobs during the summer months cleaning motels and cabins, and working various positions at restaurants in town. But the job she held as a teen that would shape her future was working in the ticket booth at the movie theater (The Show) in downtown St. Ignace. It was there she met the love of her life, Captain Jim Bishop (who kept coming back to the same movie so he could see her cute face through that glass). They married in September of 1954 and, in pretty quick succession, had three children. While raising those three children, Norma was first a homemaker, but also held many jobs: chief cook and bottle washer at the Dog N Suds Drive-In out on US-2 (an existing franchise!) that she and the Captain owned/operated (you could pet the deer!); ticket sales for her and the Captain’s ferry boat service to Mackinac Island; ticket sales for Arnold Line Transit Company; Nurse’s Aide at Mackinac Straits Hospital; flower arranger at the St. Ignace Green House; and she also provided administrative support to the Captain when he ran their charter fishing business out of Charlevoix, MI in the 70s.

Norma was always the life of the party. In fact, some folks might say she WAS the party. She loved dressing up for Halloween – and for any occasion for that matter, and any chance she had to grace a dance floor, she was there shakin’ a leg. She had a way of bringing people together and most always hosted the gatherings. And cook! Oh, how that woman could cook! As far as we’re concerned, Norma was THE best cook (fry and otherwise) in the U.P. – and beyond. She happily shared recipes, but nothing was as good as when she made it. She added that extra little something that made it oh so delicious. Love? Lard? Probably lots of both. It brought her great joy to sit back after preparing a meal and watch family and friends savor her concoctions.

In 1988, Norma and the Captain bought a little place in Englewood, FL (aka Wrinklewood) on Manasota Key, and it’s where they wintered, hosting all family members who rendezvoused there most every Spring.

Norma is predeceased by her parents; her husband, Capt. James J. Bishop, Sr.; and siblings Teddy Paquin and Roberta McPhee. Norma is survived by her siblings Larry Paquin, Frances Wartella, Kathleen Bell and Andre Paquin; her children, son James J. Bishop, Jr. (Michigan/Florida), daughters Ann Marie Bishop (Michigan/Florida) and Mary Jo Bishop (Nashville/Florida); her grandchildren, Mary Eileen Harris (Michigan), Katie Harris Keel (South Carolina), James Gardner Harris (South Korea), Angela Nefcy Kolar (Seattle), Jimmy Joe Bishop (North Carolina), Kiara Bishop (Michigan); and great grandchildren, Anna Jean Keel, James Ryan Keel and Zane Christopher Kolar.

Norma truly broke the mold. Let’s gather to share stories and raise our glasses to her at a celebration of her life on July 8, 2023, in St. Ignace, MI. Details TBA.

In lieu of cards and flowers, please consider a donation to Tidewell Hospice ( Thank you.

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