Patricia Ann Bishop (nee Kelley), 29 November 1928– 12 July 2022
Patricia Ann Bishop died peacefully at her home on the Gulf in Belleair Beach, Florida. Pat was born in Tomahawk, Wisconsin to Thomas J. Kelley and Mary Elizabeth “Mae” Kelley. She joined two older brothers, Tommy, and Jimmy. Patty Ann grew up in a loving extended family, full of fun and laughter. She loved the outdoors, accompanying her father on timber drives, and hunting and golf outings, and spending time with her mother and cousins. Summers were spent at the family’s cottage on Half Moon Lake with many cousins and friends from town. Pat attended St. Mary’s School, and Tomahawk High School, graduating with honors. She attended St. Scholastica College, and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Upon graduation Pat embarked on a lifelong vocation in teaching.
In 1952 Pat met and married Bruce Bishop. Together they undertook an extraordinary loving partnership that would span nearly 70 years. They were blessed with five children: Bruce Jr. (Brie), Mary Patricia (Mark), Kathleen (Kenny), Kelley (Rob), and Tommy (Lizzie). Pat was an extraordinarily smart, talented, and strong partner in all of Bruce’s work and career. She embraced the frequent moves required with enthusiasm and joy for the next adventure, and the next duty station. Patty passed this same enthusiasm and adventurous spirit on to her children.
Although Pat left full-time teaching to raise her family, she was never away from this vocation. Throughout her life her spare hours were spent teaching reading to both children and adults. Her patience, kindness, and grace brought the gift of reading to countless children and adults. Patty was also devoted to reading and passed this same love for books on to all her children and many friends.
Pat was a devout Roman Catholic, frequently a daily communicant, and particularly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary. Patricia lived out the Gospel daily with an extraordinary gift for welcoming the stranger, comforting the sad or fearful, and making anyone she encountered feel like the most important person in the room. She left every place and conversation better for her being in it. From grocery stores to soup kitchens to homeless shelters, Pat dedicated her life to the comfort and aid of others. She did it quietly and without fanfare. She changed thousands of lives. Pat and Bruce helped found St. Brendan’s Catholic Parish in Clearwater Beach, Florida, and she was a life-long member of St. Mary’s Catholic Parish in Tomahawk. Pat was active as a Eucharistic minister, and in cooking and serving meals for the community and the poor. She volunteered for decades at shelters for women who were victims of domestic violence.
During Bruce’s last duty station they moved to a home on the Gulf of Mexico and enjoyed decades of swimming, walking on the beach, cocktails with friends, and glorious sunsets. Pat and Bruce also built their own home on Half Moon Lake. They spent many lovely summers at this cottage. Patty did not slow down after her children left home, trying her hand at running an antique emporium, and working with Bruce to develop her family’s timber holdings in Northern Wisconsin to carry out her father’s vision for a lovely and pristine tract of the Northwoods known as Killarney. Pat and Bruce traveled extensively, and circled the globe many times. Pat also loved to golf with Bruce, and never let him forget that she had two “holes-in-one” to his none!
One of the world's great loving partnerships was temporarily broken up in November 2020 when Bruce passed away at the age of 96. Soon thereafter, Pat began quietly, peacefully, and slowly going to join him spiritually and eventually physically. Because of the tender, selfless, and loving care of her three daughters, Pat spent the last 18 months of life very much like her first years: happy, much loved, beautiful, and surrounded by joy. She is survived by her 5 children, 13 grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.
Pat lived an extraordinary life of love, faith, service, beauty, and adventure.
She will be missed.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated in honor of Patricia Bishop at 11:00AM on Saturday, August 13, 2022 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Tomahawk. Fr. Louis Maram Reddy will officiate. Visitation will take place from 10:00AM until the time of service at 11:00AM. Burial will take place in Calvary Cemetery, Tomahawk.
Krueger Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. You may view the full obituary and leave online condolences at www.kruegerfamilyfuneral.com.