Allan A. ‘Al’ Bischoff, 84, Coast Guard vet, Lutz worker, Ephrata Cloister Chorus member

By on March 16, 2016

Allan A. “Al” Bischoff, 84, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother passed away peacefully at his home Friday, March 11, 2016.

Born in Lancaster, he was the husband of Elizabeth “Betsy” Kleinginna Bischoff; they would have celebrated their 20th anniversary on May 26. He was the son of the late Chester M. and Mae Alexander Bischoff.

Al graduated in 1949 from McCaskey High School, Lancaster. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1951-1954. He worked for Leffler Oil Co., formerly Sico and Bob Lutz Co., in the sales and service departments, retiring in 1996. He was a 32nd degree member of F.& A.M. of Pennsylvania, Ephrata Lodge No. 8665.

Al enjoyed singing in chorus groups and choirs. He began singing at the age of four in the children’s choir of St. Paul’s United Chirch of Christ and was still singing in the Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ adult choir just three weeks before his death. He was proud to sing bass beside his son Dale for nearly 25 years in the church choir. In 2011 Al was recognized by the congregation for his 75 years of continuous service in the church choirs. Additionally Al is remembered at the church as the “pie man,” making hundreds of pies and apple dumplings yearly for the church bazaar for the past 25 years.

Al also sang with the Ephrata Cloister Chorus for many years, accompanying the chorus on tours, including one to Europe. He developed sets and provided lighting for the summer Vorspiel programs at the Cloister and baked bread in the Cloister brick ovens.

Al was an avid saltwater fisherman. He had fished off the coast of every state on the East Coast and also California; Hawaii; Alaska; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and Lakes Ontario and Erie. His most recent trip in January included fishing from Key West to Destin in the panhandle of Florida.

Most of all Al loved his family. For 40 years “Pa” gathered his family for Sunday dinners with such delicious delights as buttery mashed potatoes, roast corn, and fresh strawberry pie.

In addition to his wife, Al is survived by seven children: Russell Bischoff, Detroit, Mich.; Gayle Bischoff, Stevens; Lori, wife of Ken Robinson, Enid, Okla.; Lisa, wife of Randolph Sweigart, Ephrata; Brian, husband of Karen Bischoff, Lititz; Elaine, wife of Jeff Orler, San Diego, Calif.; John Michaels, Tucson, Ariz.; daughter-in-law: Cindy Bischoff, Ephrata; and a brother: Carl, husband of Marilyn Bischoff, Queen Creek, Ariz. He is further survived by 12 grandchildren: Jeremy Bischoff, husband of Tara, Ephrata; Jason Bischoff, husband of Aimee Kumer, of Blue Bell; Joel Bischoff, husband of Kristen, Lititz; Jared Bischoff, husband of Kait, Manheim; Shawn Robinson, husband of Leslie, Enid, Okla.; Matthew Sweigart; Sara, Eric, and Mariah Bischoff; James and Debbie Orler; Holden Michaels; seven great grandchildren: Alex, Will, Carter, Parker, Kaitlin, Kyle, and Miles; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son: Dale Bischoff, in 2015.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Al’s celebration of life service at Church of the Apostles UCC, 1850 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, on Saturday, March 26, with Rev. Kathryn L. Kuhn officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 3 to 4 p.m. The service is at 4 p.m. and the internment will be held at the Church Memorial Garden immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Church of the Apostles UCC, attn: Choir Fund, 1850 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603.

To share a condolence, visit thegroffs.com. The Groff Family and Cremation Services, Lancaster, handled the arrangements.

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