Our beloved Vanessa was born in Cleveland, OH on February 19, 1955 to Erskine, Sr. and Ina Bishop; the first child of their union. She attended Gracemount Elementary, Charles W. Elliott Junior High School, and was part of the first graduating class of Glen Oak School (now Gilmour Academy), an all-girls school founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart (Madams of the Sacred Heart).
Her love of fashion, music, and singing could be seen at an early age, and all were on full display as she helped to form a singing group, The Impersonelles, with some friends in the neighborhood during their teen years.
Upon graduating high school in 1972, she took a coveted position with IBM, beginning a highly respected professional career. She then worked for the State of Ohio where shen met lifelong friend, Jill McGee. She was married just after 1980. During that marriage, she birthed 3 beautiful children, Nicolas, Candace, and Evan, whom she loved dearly. Before her daughter Candace was born, she took a position at Xerox, where she met her dear friend, and children’s godmother, Liz Henry. After her time there, she worked for AT&T in downtown Cleveland for over 20 years before retiring.
While being a great mom and excelling at any position she held were always priorities, she would be the first to tell you her relationship with God came before all else. She made sure that she was an active member in church and was always involved in various ministries throughout. Those churches included Parkside Church (where she was baptized), The House of The Lord, and most recently, Church on the North Coast. She truly enjoyed serving/helping others, spreading The Word, praising her Savior, and making lifelong connections/friendships along the way.
Upon first meeting Vanessa, anyone would be able to tell how much she truly loved her family. Gatherings with her loved ones brought her the utmost joy. She was always eager to host a holiday dinner (holding the Thanksgiving turkey baking title solo), help to plan, or just attend the birthday of a family member. Even her birthdays were always about celebrating with family and friends; dining out at Carrabba’s or BJ’s, her two favorite restaurants.
Some of her favorite hobbies included jamming to some jazz, soul, or gospel music; watching classic movies (think Shirley Temple/ Fred Astaire) or action packed thrillers (James Bond); playing games like Sorry or UNO; finding new recipes to take on and master; keeping a pristine yard with colorful flowers (similar to her mother); laughing and telling jokes with her good friends MJ, Char and others; reading and studying the Bible; and framing/gifting verses she found uplifting.
Vanessa went to be with the Lord December 30th, 2022, and was preceded by her father Erskine Sr., mother Ina, brothers Larry and Erskine Jr., son Nicolas, and grandson Nicolas.
She’ll be truly missed by those still here, including her daughter Candace Lilly (son-in-law, Adam), son Evan (daughter-in-law, Simone), siblings; Avery Bishop, Inetta Gaines (brother-in-law, Landers), Andrea Smith (brother-in-law, Tedario), and her sisters-in-law Betty Evans and Mabel Bishop. Her nieces and nephews; Derrick, Terence, Raymond, Lashana, Brittney, Deon, Samantha, Jennifer, Savannah, and Joy; great-nieces and nephews; Ryan, Dorian, Michal Nicole, Makayla, Kennedy, Kingston, and Terece. Also, extended family, including her dear aunt, Leva, cousin Lynn (and her children), several godchildren, and many good friends.
Although Vanessa is no longer here physically, she’ll live on through all of us and others she’s touched throughout her life.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 10:00 AM at The Church on the North Coast, 4125 Leavitt Road, Lorain OH 44053.