|Birth: ||Jul. 13, 1925|
|Death: ||Jul. 1, 2010|
James Foster Bishop, Jr. 84, passed away on Thursday, July 1, 2010. Jim was a beloved family man and servant of our community for his entire lifetime. Most notably, he served as the Alachua County Tax Collector for 26 years.
Jim was a lifetime resident of Gainesville. He was born in Gainesville on July 13, 1925 to Jim and Kathryn Dekle Bishop. He attended Mrs. Days Kindergarten, Kirby-Smith School, and P. K. Yonge and graduated from Gainesville High School in 1943. He entered the service in October 1943 and served in the 276th Engineer Combat Battalion during World War II. His battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding valor for the notable repair of the Bridge at Remagen, Germany. President Eisenhower cited this as a courageous effort that was instrumental in shortening WWII in Europe. Upon his return to the states, Jim went to the University of Florida before being called back into service during the Korean War.
After returning to Gainesville and working in insurance for a short period, Jim was offered a job at the Tax Collector's office by then Tax Collector Shelley McKinney. This was June 1954 and Jim worked for 19 years as the assistant tax collector. When Mr. McKinney passed away in 1974, Governor Ruben Askew appointed Jim to take his place. From 1976 to his retirement in 2000, Jim ran unopposed. He always instilled in his staff the importance of providing service, trying to go the second mile to help people. During Jim's tenure, the tax collector's office evolved from using typewriters and sometimes even writing tax receipts by hand, into the computer age.
Throughout his lifetime, Jim was devoted to many service organizations. As an Eagle Scout, Jim was involved in the Boy Scouts of America, through the First United Methodist Church and Alachua County. He was actively involved in the Boys and Girls Club, serving as president and on the corporate board. He was on the original board when United Way was started. Jim was the past president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, president of the Lions Club, and a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Kiwanis Club. He enjoyed participating in the Gainesville High School Has-Beens group. Jim was an avid Gator fan. He worked for many years, operating the clock for the University of Florida football games and was a member of the Quarterback Club. He was an active lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church and served in multiple capacities.
During an oral interview conducted with the Matheson Historical Center in June 1999, Jim stated he was blessed with family. He said he has had a wonderful family at home, a church family, a civic club family and an office family. He believed you always put your family first, which reflects why Jim was loved by so many.
Jim is survived by his sweetheart and wife of 61 years, Fay Harris Bishop; three sons Tom (Sandy) of Boca Raton, Florida, Larry (Anne) of Gainesville, and Alan (Andrea) of Arden, North Carolina; 8 grandchildren and one great grandchild. He is also survived by his brother Gerald Bishop (Sue) of Keystone Heights and a sister, Iris Thomas from Huntsville, Alabama.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to Haven Hospice, the Boy Scouts of America or the First United Methodist Church of Gainesville.
The family will receive friends at Milam Funeral Home located at 311 South Main Street, on Friday, July 2, 2010 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be Saturday, July 3, 2010 at the First United Methodist Church at 1:00 p.m., located at 419 NE 1st Street. The committal service will be held at Forest Meadows Central with a private interment for the family. Arrangements are under the care of Milam Funeral Home, 311 South Main Street, Gainesville, Florida (352) 376-5361.
Forest Meadows Memorial Park and Mausoleum Central
Created by: Roy Keck
Record added: May 02, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 109834200