|Birth: ||Aug. 9, 1925|
|Death: ||Jan. 12, 2008|
Bill Bishop, 82, of Harrisburg and Jonesboro died on Saturday, January 12, 2008 at St. Bernards Hospital.
Bill was born at home in Cash on August 9, 1925. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Harrisburg, under watch care from First Baptist Church of Jonesboro and a member of the Masonic Lodge. He held a bachelor's and master's degrees in business and education from Arkansas State University. He spent 37 years in education as a teacher, coach, principal, superintendent and was curriculum director and Federal Coordinator for the Harrisburg School District. He served as president of the Lion's Club, Poinsett County Teacher's Association and was a member of ASU Indian Club and an active scout for the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University. He served as Grand Marshall of the Harrisburg Christmas Parade in 2003. He coached basketball for seventeen years leading several teams to state championships from Valley View, Monette and Harrisburg schools. Many of his players received Division 1, A.I.C., or junior college scholarships.
Bill served in the United States Army and was awarded the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Theatre Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with two Bronze Stars and a World War II Victory Medal for action in the combat theatre. He was awarded Expert Infantryman Badge and Combat Infantryman Rifle Badge. He was in command of Co. I, 39th Infantry Division for the National Guard when he was called to duty to replace the 101st Airborne Division at Central High School in Little Rock in 1957 to secure the safety of the Little Rock Nine's integration. He came to know all nine students personally and had great respect for them. He also commanded the security team to secure safety for the arrival of President John F. Kennedy on the occasion of the dedication of the Greer's Ferry Dam. After twenty-one years of service, he retired from the National Guard at the rank of Major.
In 1970-72, he served in the Arkansas Senate. While in the senate, he introduced three pieces of legislation. He sponsored the Arkansas Teacher Sick Leave Bill which became law, chaired a three man committee to select a building site for the Children's Colony in Jonesboro, and led the debate on the addition of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to grant 18, 19 and 20 year olds the right to vote. This bill was adopted in 1972. Being a great Cardinal fan his entire life, the St. Louis Cardinal's organization honored him on his 82nd birthday by saying happy birthday during a broadcast game and sited the amendment.
Bill was a man of many talents. He and his wife Marie were avid square dancers. He served as president of the Poinsett County Square Dance Association and he also enjoyed hunting and fishing as hobbies.
He is survived by three daughters, Fonda Bishop Lofton, Anna Marie Bishop and Dana Bishop Spencer; one son-in-law, Dan Spencer; five grandchildren, Adam Lofton, Aaron Lofton, Alan Belzung, Andrew Spencer and Katy Spencer; one grand daughter-in-law, Michele Lofton and three great grandchildren, Olivia Lofton, Elisabeth Lofton and Emily Lofton.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Catherine Marie Merrell Bishop; his parents, Ira and Mollie Bishop; three sisters, Ora Hillis, Verna Pierce and Thelma Williams; five brothers, Sylvie Bishop, Alvie Bishop, Raymond Bishop, Jearl Bishop and Earl Bishop.
A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, January 18, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. at the Gregg Funeral Home Chapel in Jonesboro with the Dr. Mike McGee and Dr. Bruce Tippett officiating. Burial will follow at the Bishop Cemetery.
Catherine Marie Merrell Bishop (1928 - 2002)*
Maintained by: Dana Bishop Spencer
Originally Created by: Patsy Steele
Record added: Jan 15, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23977542
Dad,Love and miss you. So very proud of your contribution, in the military, and the wonderful father you were and are. I know that you're experiencing joy that I can't know until I see you, again, in Heaven. One day, I'll get to hold your big hand agai...(Read more)|
Dana Bishop Spencer
Added: Sep. 24, 2012
Added: Jan. 15, 2008
Bill served in the United States Army.Mr. Bishop was a caring and considerate person and principal. I am glad I had the privelage of knowing him. God Bless,|
Added: Jan. 16, 2008