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Requiescat in Pace: Chris Bissey

Chris and Family

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

John 11:25

My secretary and office manager Chris Bissey passed away in the early hours of this morning, age 51, ending her over two years fight against cancer.  I have seen many a valiant fight against cancer in my life, including that of my mother who died at 48 on Easter Sunday 1984, but never a braver one than that fought by Chris.  Throughout her ordeal her spirit was ever unbroken, she usually cheering up those around her.  She was bright and optimistic, just as she had been throughout her life.  She worked up until Wednesday of this week, telling the Grim Reaper that she had tasks to attend to and he could just wait until she was ready.

She worked for me for thirty years.  I called her my secret weapon.  If I needed a hearing scheduled and she was told that it was impossible, she would get it scheduled anyway.  Astonished Judges often asked me how I managed to get a hearing set before them on a date when they said no more settings.  I replied that it was by black magic, black magic that went by the name of Chris Bissey.  She routinely did the impossible for me, imposing order on hundreds of open files, typing up my endless documents at lightning speed, making friends among courthouse staffs and charming all who came into my office and called on the phone.  It was a rare week when I did not receive at least one compliment in regard to Chris.

She was much more to me however than a secretary.  She was also a good friend.  Over the years we looked out for each other and helped each other through our triumphs and our tragedies.  Outside of my immediate family, no person was closer to me than Chris.

She had a deep faith in God.  We often dealt with death at the firm in our professional capacity, and she and I agreed that when God called us to the next world that was that, and there was no use worrying about it.

Throughout her life anyone who needed help could always turn to Chris.  Blunt and outspoken, she had a heart that shined ever with charity and love for those in misfortune.

She leaves behind her husband and her three kids, her whole world.  Her office was decorated with photographs of them and with pictures her kids drew when they were in school.  Her pride and love for her family was a palpable thing.

When my son Larry died two years ago on May 19, 2013, and my world turned black, Chris aided me and my family make it through that bleakest of weeks.

The world is immeasurably poorer for her loss, and Heaven, I am confident, is much richer for her presence.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

35 Comments

  1. Such a mixture of sadness and yet, beauty.
    Needless to say that we are praying for her and those who share the loss of such a good soul.

  2. My condolences Don, on Chris’ passing from this life.

    Praying for her departed soul- as you describe, a beautiful soul- may Chris rest in eternal peace.

    Praying strength is granted to her family and friends during this difficult time.

  3. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace.
    .
    Amen.
    .
    Prayers for you and your practice as well, on the loss of such a great part of your team.

  4. My condolences to her family and you. It sounds like she was (and still is in Heaven) a tremendous person.

  5. That husband…I will pray for him and the kids just as much as for her. The Sinai Covenant promised literal long life for obedience. The Christian dispensation does not so promise but is more lofty but harder in this respect of “the crosses” we are promised.

  6. Thank you for the kind words my friends. Her kids told me that a few hours before her end Chris was speaking with Larry, my late son, who she was quite fond of in life. It does not surprise me that Larry was part of her welcoming party into her new and eternal life.

  7. Wow! I love it Donald. The veil is so thin at these moments and sometimes loved one’s are blessed to share in this grace….what a sweet gift from God.

    Thanks for sharing.

    God is love.

  8. My deepest sympathy for what must be a great loss not only for her family and yours, but for all who knew her. May her soul rest in peace.

  9. a Requiem Mass will be said for the repose of her soul a St. Joseph’s Troy, NY as soon as i can arrange it when the office opens monday. if not sooner…….

    It sounds like she is fine, we will pray – i hope your grief is complete and short lived and the memory of her shines in your heart forever! This is a cause of joy , not sadness, to have so close a friend before the Throne and able to intercede for you. rejoice and be glad!
    For her and for you

  10. Thank you for this testimonial: I needed it at this time (esp. to put in perspective some nonsense I am over-valuing: this is the real matter of life).

    It seems, again and again, that God will not delay for some people, because they are “perfect” in their state of life already at that point. Mrs. Bissey appears to be one of those—and fulfills M. Twain’s famous quip (“Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”) Pardon my for experiencing a small amount of “holy envy” and a large amount of admiration for her well-lived life. We must pray for her spouse and family, because they have a lot to miss.

  11. Your account of her life well lived – earnest and full of love brings me to tears. God will bless her and her family and you.
    Thanks be to God.

  12. Prayers offered for the Bissy family and you. I believe that Chris’ suffering released many souls from purgatory.

  13. I am so sorry. Everyone involved will be in my prayers. And keep an eye on yourself, Don – new grief has a way of reopening old wounds.

  14. Thank you my friends. It is just beginning to hit home to me on an emotional level that I will never see Chris again in this Vale of Tears and your kind comments, wishes and prayers help me bear up under this sad fact. I will be speaking at her funeral, she was a Methodist, and I will do my best to help her husband and kids bear up under their greater grief.

  15. The best part of your witness Donald, is the wellspring of truth that is as natural as your smile. In other words trust in Him who loves you so much. Your in such great hands. Those hands will never let you down.
    The eulogy will spring out of your heart.
    Relax and be happy that you were a large part of this family.

    Peace.

  16. A loved and respected woman; what rewards she has in store! May all who mourn her passing find moments of holy peace & refreshment in the days ahead.

  17. a Requiem Mass will be said for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Chris Bissey on 9/25, friday at Noon – at St. Joseph’s church 416 3rd St. Troy NY 12180.
    may her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest in Peace.

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