Robert Earl Bishop

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 9, 2014

April 1, 1944 – Jan. 6, 2014

NATCHEZ — Memorial services for Robert Earl Bishop, 69, of Natchez, who died Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Natchez, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Church Hill United Methodist Church with the Rev. Robert Armstrong officiating.

Arrangements are under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

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Mr. Bishop was born April 1, 1944, in Hickory, the son of Robert Debbs Bishop and Mae Agnes Gibbs Bishop and was their oldest child and only son. He was shortly followed by four girls.

Upon the accidental death of his father in 1957, he came to live in Natchez with his Uncle Chesley, the brother of his father, and his Aunt Lorene Gibbs Bishop, the sister of his mother, and became a member of their family. With this move, his immediate family grew to include four more sisters who were children of Chesley and Lorene.

Natchez was his only home for more than 55 years. In his early years, he was a member of Wesley Methodist Church and later of Rogers Memorial Methodist Church.

Mr. Bishop made his living as a commercial truck driver for many years in the logging and construction industries; however, horses and riding were the true loves of his life. He was well-known as a showman and trainer of fine horses in the area.

He won too many trophies and ribbons to count riding Chico, Tuffy, and his beloved mare Duster, and the remarkable Appaloosa mare, Natchez Joy. Many young people in Adams County learned to ride under his directions. For many years, he was a member of the Dixie Riding Club.

Mr. Bishop was preceded in death by his parents; uncle and aunt, Chesley and Lorene Gibbs Bishop; grandparents, Putt Darden Gibbs, Hattie Payne Gibbs, Robert R. Bishop and Helen Marie Ethridge Bishop; two sisters; Josephine Bishop Garrison and husband, Danny, and Marilyn Ruth Bishop Emfinger and husband, Ron.

Survivors include six sisters, Mary Ann Bishop Strickland and husband, Tony, Lessie Bishop Hollingsworth and husband, Dale, Betty Bishop Murphy and husband, David, all of Newton, Virginia Bishop Creel and husband, Johnny, of Brandon, Linda Bishop Bates and husband, George, of Natchez and Marie Bishop Woodruff and husband, Kenneth, of Goose Creek, S.C.; and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to the Church Hill United Methodist Church at 354 Guedon Rd, Natchez, MS, 39120.

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