IRVINGTON—Ellen Dyer Whitehead Bishop, died on September 30, 2020, in Irvington, at the age of 83.
“Mimi”—her nickname given by her grandchildren—was born in Chatham on July 31, 1937.
She is survived by her husband, Jeffrey William “Jess” Bishop; and her children, Jeffrey Howard Gumenick, his wife, Jennie, and their children, Eleanor Spann (Colin), Sarah, Lillian, Roland Brierre and his wife Carley; Randolph Samuel Gumenick, and his children, Nathan, Tucker and Sophia.
She is survived by her sister, Ann Anderson, of Springfield and Culpeper.
Ellen also leaves behind her beloved dog, Sir Barkley of Currituck, and her granddogs Ginger and Archie of Richmond, Grainger of Mount Pleasant, S.C., and Bucky and Little Dude of Miami Beach, Fla.
She was predeceased by her parents, Samuel Leslie Whitehead and Eleanor Francher Whitehead of Chatham; and her brother, Samuel Leslie Whitehead Jr.
Ellen was crowned Miss Virginia in 1954. Virginia should have had the first Miss USA crown that year, as Ellen finished first runner-up, but was later disqualified for being underage.
Ellen was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock. She was also a volunteer for the Historic Christ Church Foundation and the Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic.
Known to her closest friends as “Ellie-Pooh,” she will be remembered not only for her beauty but for her loyalty and warm spirit. She had a quick wit, and an infectious laugh, yet was always a compassionate listener.
Ellen cherished her beloved “Pine Point” on Mad Calf Lane in Irvington more than any place on earth. She was a lover of nature, gardening, boating and the scenic beauty that surrounded her in the place she affectionately referred to as “Mayberry.” Her devoted husband, Jeff, appropriately named their boat the “Runner-Up,” in honor of Ellen’s near brush with Miss USA.
We will forever be grateful for the many years that we had Mimi in our lives as a wife, mother and grandmother, and friend to all that knew her.
The family plans to honor Ellen privately with a celebration of her life. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Animal Welfare League of the Northern Neck or a charity of your choice.
Currie Funeral Home LLC of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements.