Jerry H. Bishop of Keller, TX passed away on Sunday, November 13, 2022 after a long battle with kidney disease. He was 91.
Jerry was born in the southeast farmlands of Arkansas to Jerry and Vera Bishop. It was 1931, during the early years of the Great Depression. The first part of Jerry's childhood was spent on a farm near Tillar. The family lived in a large home overflowing with space, but not so much with running water. When Jerry was 12 the family moved to a small house in the "big city" of Pine Bluff, complete with indoor plumbing!
Jerry was only 14 when he began his long working career, getting his first job as a bellhop at the Jefferson Hotel. Because of his age he was always paid in cash. Later, he worked at Collier's Drug Store, where he developed an interest in pharmacy. Mr. Collier was impressed enough he wanted Jerry to take over the store someday, but Jerry had other plans. Also during those years, Jerry was an active member of his high school marching band, playing the cornet. After graduating in 1949 he enrolled in Hendrix College to study chemistry. His long-term goals included pharmacy or dental school. However, the US government had other plans...
After graduating college in 1953, Jerry was promptly inducted into the Army and sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey. He thought surely he was destined for Korea. But as luck would have it, the fighting there ended the day he received his uniform, and after basic training it was off to Germany instead. Thanks to a newly-minted chemistry degree, Jerry spent most of his time in Germany working in a toxicology lab in Landstuhl, rather than "in the field". But even then the old trumpet skills came in handy, as he was sometimes tasked with playing Reveille and Taps on the bugle.
After deciding a longer stint in the Army was not for him, Jerry was discharged in 1955 and headed to Dallas to begin a successful career in pharmaceutical and cosmetics manufacturing. In 1956 he met the love of his life, Barbra, and the two were married within 7 months. The following year the couple moved to Irving, where they raised their family and lived for over 35 years. They were active members of the Irving Schools PTA, Plymouth Park United Methodist Church, and many a Golden Triangle bowling league. They loved taking road trips, having traversed much of the southern and western parts of the US, and were also huge Cowboys fans, frequently attending games at the Cotton Bowl or Texas Stadium.
In 1994 the couple relocated to Flower Mound, where they lived until Barbra's death in 2004. Following his retirement from Mary Kay Cosmetics years earlier, Jerry had kept busy working in manufacturing consulting roles for drug and healthcare products. He also did a stint in the pharmacy of a local Eckerd's. Eventually, after moving to Grapevine, he ended up working in a boutique at the Gaylord Texan Resort until his final retirement in 2011. He liked to joke that his career ended as it began -- working in a hotel.
During his sunset years, Jerry enjoyed frequent outings with his daughter for Mexican food, and occasional trips to Austin to visit the son who "went there for college and never came back". And of course, he continued watching the Cowboys on TV almost to the end.
Jerry is preceded in death by his father Jerry; brother-in-law Laurence; brother Dwight; mother Vera; brother-in-law Stanley; and beloved wife Barbra. He is survived by his sister Euna; former sister-in-law Linda; devoted daughter Cathy and husband Jason; son Ronnie and wife Wei; grandson Eric and wife Lori; grandson Blake and wife Jennifer; grandsons Kevin and Garrett; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday, November 18th at Chism-Smith Funeral Home in Irving, TX. Funeral services will also be held there at 10:00 AM on Saturday, November 19th, with burial to follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Irving.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Grace House of Fort Worth. Checks may be sent to Norma Sandel, 11640 Netleaf Ln, Fort Worth, TX 76244. In the words of Jerry's old roommate Tom, "Norma is God's gift to old people".