James Corwith (Jim) Bishop Sr.(1916 - 2012)

James Corwith ("Jim") Bishop Sr. June 11, 1916 - May 15, 2012 James Corwith ("Jim") Bishop Sr. passed away on May 15, 2012 at the age of 95. Born in Southampton, New York on June 11, 1916, Jim was raised on the family farm with his parents, whom he loved and revered. He shared life on the farm with his three younger sisters Helen, Alma and Jane. Jim studied at Amherst College, interrupting his education to run the farm when his father was in ill health. When his father recovered Jim entered Cornell University, graduating in 1940 with a degree in agricultural science. He returned to work the farm with his father, growing crops to support the war effort. Working the farm taught Jim many useful skills and, being a natural mechanic, he honed those skills over his lifetime and was able to build and repair nearly anything. Jim met his first wife, Ena MacKillop, while at Cornell, and they soon moved their young family to California. Jim obtained his master's degree in agricultural science at UC Davis and, in 1948, they moved to Kern County where they raised their six children (Jim Jr., Bill, Serena, Hugh, John and Ray) until Ena's death in 1970. After his children were grown, Jim married his second wife Martha, who preceded him in death early last year. Jim was a long-time researcher in vegetable crops-a prolific and practical contributor to the improvement of agriculture in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The majority of his 37 year career with University of California was spent doing research at the USDA Research Station in Shafter, CA; he authored or coauthored numerous scientific papers. Beyond home and career, Jim was an important part of the community. A frequent chaperone, advisor and mentor for Scouts and other youth organizations, he could always be counted on to do a yeoman's job regardless of the activity. Jim had a strong Christian faith and lived it in his everyday life. He was engaged in every aspect of the churches he attended, from teaching Sunday school to serving on his local church councils to sitting on the Episcopal lay readers' council of the Diocese of San Joaquin. Jim's life was always one of service, solid contribution and steadfast support of those who depended on him. He was a loving and committed father and a person of integrity-calm, kind and considerate of others until his last breath. Jim is survived by his 3 sisters, 6 children, 14 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. The family wishes to recognize and express heartfelt appreciation for the caregivers who helped Jim so much over the past few years, and the hospice nurses who helped greatly in his final days. There will be a private memorial service. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Jim's name, please consider the American Alzheimer's Foundation (www.alzfdn.org) or Assisted Home Hospice Foundation (www.assisted1.com/hospice_foundation.html). www.bakersfield.com/obits

This obituary was originally published in the Bakersfield Californian.

Published online on May 20, 2012 courtesy of Bakersfield Californian.