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Local Navy Reserve Seabee from Ashland area becomes 2nd sailor to die from COVID-19

Builder 2nd Class Nathan Huff Bishop, 33, died in Canton on Dec. 1
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Posted at 10:34 AM, Dec 07, 2020

ASHLAND, Ohio — A U.S. Navy Reserve Seabee sailor from the Ashland area died from complications related to COVID-19 last week, making him the second sailor to die from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Builder 2nd Class Nathan Huff Bishop, 33, from East Sparta, passed away at a local hospital in Canton on Dec. 1, a Navy representative told USNI News last week. The apparent cause of death was complications associated with COVID-19.

Huff Bishop enlisted in the Navy in 2005 and reported to his first command, Naval Construction Battalion One in Gulfport, Mississippi, in 2006, then moved to the reserves in 2007, USNI reports.

Huff Bishop deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from March 2010 to July 2011.

His last tour of duty was with Naval Construction Battalion 25 in Port Hueneme, California, which began in 2013, according to his official biography.

Bishop's father, Donald Bishop, said his son was a loving father of three children. He enjoyed hunting, boating and four-wheeling and was proud of his service to the Navy.

"Spending time with his kids was the most important thing in his life," Donald Bishop said.

On November 24, Nathan set out for a hunting trip in East Sparta, but he fell, broke a finger and went to a Canton Hospital.

"They set his finger and that kind of stuff and sent him home, and three days later, he couldn't breathe. He was diagnosed with coronavirus and pneumonia in his lungs," Donald Bishop said.

Nathan's condition worsened at Mercy Medical Center and he died a week later.

"It's like the flu but ten times worse," his father said. "I believe that people that don't think this is real-- as the doctor would say-- I don't know what planet they're from."

Donald Bishop said his son has some health problems, including some liver trouble, but the family never imagined the virus would kill the young father.

"This COVID is just too strong. It's amazing how if affects some people and not others."

A graveside memorial with Military Honors provided by the U.S. Navy will be held on Thursday in Ashland. More details can be found in his obituary here.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Navy has seen 17,036 total COVID-19 cases in sailors and 5,639 cases in its civilian workforce.