Remembering Donald E. Bise, Sr.

Like many friends and neighbors, Don Bise left the coal mines and steel mills of western Pennsylvania in the late 1950s and came to Northern Virginia looking for work. He found a job with Newton Asphalt and commuted back to Masontown, PA on weekends for several years.

In 1960, Don moved his family from Pennsylvania to a new home on Roundhill Road in the almost new Rose Hill subdivision. Don, his wife Delma and sons Donald, Jr., 14 and Kevin 10 and Don, Sr., quickly became part of the community. His wife opened a beauty shop named Fashionaire in Arlington Forest and his sons settled in to local schools.

Don Bise died on August 1, 2009 at Inova Fairfax Hospital after a short illness. Delma passed away in 1992 and Donald Jr., died in 1995. Don spent the last four years living with his son, Kevin, and daughter-in-law Jane in Springfield. Kevin and Jane were Don’s caregivers during his illness due to Alzheimer and Parkinson disease.

John and Jane Madaris, long-time neighbors across the street, remember the Bise family fondly. John recalls that he looked forward to seeing Don and Delma hook up their boat and head for the Chesapeake Bay. He knew they would return with fresh fish for the neighbors. Don was partial to Bluefish.    

In addition to working in the asphalt business, Don served as a guard at Lorton Prison. In Rose Hill, he volunteered as a member of Neighborhood Watch and he and Delma kept the home and grounds in tip top shape. As a testament to their work, the house annually was designated a Rose Hill Beauty by the Rose Hill Civic Association.

Donald, Jr., spent one year at Lee and then became a member of Edison High School’s first sophomore class. Kevin went to Rose Hill Elementary for one year, then on to Mark Twain and Edison. Delma sold the beauty shop to several employees and then continued work there part time until 1991.

Don Bise is survived by one grandson and two great grandsons, two sisters and a brother in addition to his son and daughter in law. Contributions in Don’s memory can be made to the National Capital Area Alzheimer’s Association, 3701 Pender Drive, Suite 400, Fairfax, Va. 22030. 

Carl Sell, President
Rose Hill Civic Association

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