BANGOR, Maine — John Bishop, a 33-year newspaper veteran who helped usher Bangor Publishing Co. into the computerized era in the 1980s and retired in 2003 as the company’s vice president, died Monday morning of apparent heart failure. He was 67.
Bishop started working for Bangor Publishing Co. in 1970 — the same year current publisher Richard J. Warren began his career with the company.
“I was deeply saddened to learn this morning of the death of John Bishop,” Warren said Tuesday. “John contributed greatly to the foundations of Northeast Publishing Company and to the Bangor Daily News. He planned and built new facilities for both Northeast [Publishing] and for the production department of the NEWS. John was a valued colleague and great friend.”
Northeast Publishing Co. is a subsidiary of Bangor Publishing Co. based in Aroostook County that owns four weekly papers and prints numerous other publications. Bishop helped expand the company and streamlined efficiency with the computerization of the publishing company.
Roger Trembley, director of operations at Northeast Publishing and a colleague and friend to Bishop, also expressed sadness Tuesday.
“He was my longtime mentor, I guess you could say,” Trembley said. “The thing I learned most from John was there’s always more than one way of doing things. We would discuss things often and always had answers, but he also had many different scenarios.”
Bishop later was picked to head up a new division of Bangor Publishing Co. that became a precursor to the newspaper’s Internet site.
Trembley said Bishop had a special ability to work and connect with all types of people.
“He was a great sounding board,” Trembley said. “It never had to be his way.”
Skip Chappelle worked with Bishop in the early 1990s and the two remained friends for years, enjoying many rounds of golf together at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono.
“The thing that was unique about John that I noticed was the respect he had,” Chappelle said. “He was low-key and stayed to himself mostly, but everyone respected him.”
Bishop’s professional relationships often led to meaningful friendships, according to Chappelle.
“We had annual gatherings of retired directors at the Bangor Daily News and John was always the key to those gatherings,” he said.
Warren said Bishop remained on the board of directors for Northeast Publishing Co. after his retirement.
“As I mentioned at his retirement, I will especially miss his wry sense of humor,” Warren said.
At the time of his death, Bishop lived with his wife, Pat, in Georgetown, Mass.