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James DeForest Bishop

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James DeForest Bishop Obituary
James DeForest Bishop

James DeForest Bishop, whose long career as a successful entrepreneur included the founding of Caithness Energy, LLC, a pioneer in the renewable power industry died May 24 at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 84.

A resident of Saddle River, New Jersey and Jamestown, Rhode Island, Mr. Bishop was a graduate of Kent School, Yale University and Harvard Business School, and served as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy. He was driven by an entrepreneurial spirit that led him to become involved in such varied ventures as oil and gas, mining, real estate, cattle breeding, and finally renewable energy. He remained active as Chairman at Caithness Energy, LLC, one of many companies he founded during his long business career, until his death. Jim was also an active member of many clubs and organizations throughout his life and was honored to serve on the board of the Intrepid Museum and Mystic Seaport Museum.

Jim was a man of many avocations and had a lifelong interest in hunting and fishing, but his true passion was for sailing. The mark he left in the world of competitive sailboat racing through his ardent support of the sport throughout his life is what he will likely be most remembered for. In a sport where success is often determined by outspending the competition, Jim was a staunch advocate of strict one-design classes that promoted highly competitive sailing while limiting the expense of participation. His participation and leadership in the International One-Design and J44 classes were emblematic of this philosophy. While he made numerous contributions to the sport through activities in many club and race organizations through the years, one of his most notable accomplishments was competing in 24 Newport Bermuda Races starting in 1960, with his last in 2014. His presence on the race course and in Bermuda will be missed, but he will be there in spirit welcoming the fleet with his classic Bermuda toast: "It's been a hell of a hook!" Jim's generosity, inclusiveness, and charisma together with his fierce competitiveness will be missed by all who had the honor of knowing him. His many friends will recall him saying with a twinkle in his eye, "You know, it would not be any fun doing this all by myself!" Jim's life was a life well lived.

Jim leaves behind the loving family that he was blessed to have close by throughout his life. Jim is survived by Barbara Conklin Bishop, his beloved wife of 63 years, his children and their spouses, Barbara Bishop Gollan, James D. and Jodie Bishop Jr, Linda and Ronald Fotiu, Betsey and David DeLuca, and his grandchildren Stephen Fotiu, Alexis Kawalec, Jennifer Fotiu, Caitlyn Gollan, Jason Gollan, Michael DeLuca, Elizabeth DeLuca, David DeLuca Jr. and James (Forrest) Bishop III. Funeral arrangements following his passing were private. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
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