Benjamin Earl Bisbee, a long-time Hood River resident, passed away on Oct. 1, 2005, at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Ore. He was 88 years of age.
Ben was born May 12, 1917, in Telluride, Colo. He moved at an early age to Newberg, Ore., and then later to Hood River, where he graduated as valedictorian from Hood River High School.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He participated in service in Guadalcanal and other parts of the Solomon Islands, as a Master Sergeant.
After the war, he returned to Hood River to grow fruit with his brother, Roy Bisbee, for Duckwall Fruit Co.
In 1959, Ben and Roy sold a patent to Stark Brothers Fruit Co. for an apple they had grafted together and patented. The apple was called the “Bisbee Red.”
In 1961, he married Laura Jean (Mitchell) Collins.
Ben served on the Hood River Memorial Hospital Board for many years. He was also a member of the Elks, Eagles and Hood River Gun Club. He served as Fire Chief of both Westside and Odell Fire departments. He was a Cub Scout leader for many years, with Odell Troop 378.
Ben enjoyed many activities including hunting, fishing, camping, rock hunting and just being in the woods.
He was preceded in death by his parents and both sisters, Rose and Daisy, and brother, Roy.
Survivors include brothers Ralph Bisbee, Robert Bisbee and Lester Bisbee; his wife, Laura Jean Bisbee of The Dalles; stepdaughter Sally Ann (Collins) Vencill and husband Beau of Philomath, Ore.; stepson Jack R. Collins III and wife Laurie, of Hood River; son, Ben J. Bisbee of Hood River; daughter, Laura (Lisa) Boss and husband, Mark, of Parkdale, Ore.; son, Brian Bisbee and wife, Deanna, of Hood River. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at Pine Grove Butte Cemetery at 2687 Van Horn Dr., Hood River, on Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.