CASA GRANDE — Michael Russell Ishop, 71, died on Jan. 3, 2020.
Mr. Ishop was born on Oct. 3, 1948, in Tempe, the eldest son of Christian parents Zelton "Pat" and Blanche B. Ishop. Fondly called Bro. Ish, he attended Palmdale Elementary and South Mountain High schools. He was a band drummer and track and field athlete, setting records. Upon graduating in 1966 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam before being honorably discharged in 1969. He was a decorated veteran with two Silver Stars and a Purple Heart, but he had post-traumatic stress disorder and failing health due to the effects of Agent Orange.
He was baptized at a young age as a Baptist. He was a choir member, participated in the youth mission and was a devoted usher. He was president of the Usher Board and actively ushered in Arizona City, Trinity and Willow Grove Missionary Baptist Churches. He religiously read his Sunday school book and daily scripture. He met the love of his life, Sharon Hanshew, and they were married on Dec. 7, 2002. He was very friendly and had a huge heart and infectious laugh. He enjoyed sports, live events, music and spending time with his family.
In 2016 he was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer. He received aggressive treatment and was in remission for two years.
Survivors include his wife; three stepchildren, Dianne Vanaman, Lee Williams and Kellie Williams; five daughters, Ishunia Ishop, Yatan Bell, Lakesha Thomas, Dieitra Ishop and Stephanie County; two sisters, Patricia "Trish" Fox-Price and Sharon "Sherry" Williams; and several grandchildren.
Visitation began at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, with service at 11, at Bethesda Community Baptist Church in Phoenix.