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The man whose name was synonymous with youth sports in Anderson County has died.
Chip Bishop, 49, died early Monday morning at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington following a brief illness.
Born Leslie Howard Bishop but known as Chip, Bishop served as director of the Anderson County Parks and Recreation Department for the past 27 years.
Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway said replacing him won’t be easy.
“People always say that anyone can be replaced, but it’s going to be hard to replace Chip Bishop,” Conway said.
Anderson County PVA Brian Stivers was one of Bishop’s best friends and credited him with keeping him involved with athletics.
“He started being recreation director during my senior year in high school in 1991,” Stivers said. “He coached me all the way through high school football, and from then on we just got to be good buddies.
“He got me coaching Little League in 1993 and I’m still coaching today.”
Bishop graduated from Mercer County High School in 1979 and went on to play offensive line at Kentucky State University. Stivers said if it weren’t for a leg injury, he could have gone even further in football.
“He probably would have played pro football,” Stivers said. “He had pro scouts coming to his games to watch him play.”
Although his playing days were cut short, Bishop stayed connected to youth sports through his job and served as an assistant football coach under coaches Harp, Hatchell and Jackson for 18 years at Anderson County High School.
Stivers said Bishop was an avid sports fan who watched only ESPN, but had another passion, too.
“He loved dogs more than anything else in the world,” Stivers said. “He had a passion for the local Humane Society and would take them bags of dog food.”
Conway, who is scheduled to help officiate Bishop’s funeral service at 2 p.m. Thursday at Ritchie & Peach Funeral Home, marked Bishop’s passing by ordering the flag at the courthouse flown at half-staff.
“That’s what a good guy I think Chip Bishop was,” he said. “He’s been associated with kids coming out of grade school for all those years. I didn’t know anyone like Chip. He was just a good guy.”
Bishop is survived by his wife of 19 years, Robin Creech Bishop, and a sister, Sally Baker of Lexington.
Visitation is scheduled for today (Wednesday) at Ritchie & Peach Funeral Home from 1 to 8 p.m. and after 8 a.m. Thursday.
Burial will follow in Lawrenceburg Cemetery.