Tessalon Bishop loved seeing his family members learn.
He made a point to expose his two young daughters, now 2 and 7, to educational experiences, often taking them to museums like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
He also went out of his way to encourage his younger sister Anita A. Fritz to finish college. Fritz said that when she graduates from the University of Massachusetts Boston, she will dedicate her diploma to Bishop, who died in a car accident on I-95 on July 22. He was 33.
“I feel like I can’t let him down, because he encouraged me and because he believed in me,” Fritz said.
Family members remember Bishop, who worked as a security officer at Harvard, as a caring brother and son who was always full of energy and as a loving father who went “above and beyond” to support his daughters. They say that they will miss Bishop’s compassion, love for life, and warm words of encouragement.
“I couldn’t ask for a better son,” said his mother Desiree Charles, who called Bishop her best friend. “I love him dearly, and will continue loving him, until we meet again.”
Bishop sought to find the best in any situation, his family said. Patricia A. Bishop, Bishop’s older sister, described her brother as “always upbeat,” with a variety of interests ranging from rap music to fashion. He was even optimistic in the most difficult of times, Patricia Bishop said.
“He would even see the bright side in [his death],” Patricia Bishop said. “He will find some way to [say], ‘Oh, look, I’m with God; God is with me.’”
At Harvard, Bishop served as a security officer with Securitas, the company that employs Harvard’s security guards. Bishop worked as an overnight guard, overseeing the Museum of Natural History and several other surrounding buildings, and sometimes picked up a day shift, according to Kevin M. Ebert, assistant director of operations at the Museum of Natural History. Bishop, who was known to friends and coworkers by his last name, really cared about his job and “always had a smile on his face,” Ebert said.
“I can’t remember a time where he didn’t come in, smiling ear to ear,” Ebert said. “He seemed to generally care about you as a person in your situation, your family.”
Fritz said she thinks Bishop worked as hard as he did at his job at Harvard because he wanted to provide for his daughters. “They were his everything,” she said.
For her part, Patricia Bishop said that the thing she will most miss about her brother is simply hearing his voice. He used to call her “all the time,” she said, sometimes just to see how she was doing.
“We could rely on each other, no matter what for,” Patricia Bishop said.
Along with his mother, daughters, and sisters, Bishop is survived by additional siblings, nieces, and nephews. He was remembered at a public wake this past Friday morning at the Grace of All Nations Church in Dorchester.
—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.
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