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Carroll Atwater BISHOP

BISHOP, Carroll Atwater - 1925 - 2013 Carroll Atwater Bishop died December 2, 2013 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease and then cancer. She was a vibrant intellectual who passionately loved her friends, family and the arts. Born in Chicago to writers Richard and Florence Atwater ("Mr. Popper's Penguins"), her childhood was marred by her father's stroke in 1934. Carroll wrote for The Chicago Maroon while earning her degree in English literature at the University of Chicago (1945). She moved to New York City in 1948, where she worked at publishers Appleton and Putnam. In 1951, she returned to Chicago where she did secretarial work, trained as a teacher and studied children's literature at the University of Chicago. She married Harding Bishop from Montreal in 1956 and taught elementary school until daughter Kate was born in 1958. The family moved in 1959 when Harding became a University of Toronto professor, and son Alec was born in 1960. The couple were active in the early days of the NDP but separated in 1963 and later divorced. Carroll worked in editorial, research, secretarial and administrative jobs at "Know Canada" magazine, Centre of Criminology, Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, Berkeley Studio, CBC's "Man Alive" and the Judges' Offices at Old City Hall. She also wrote many poems, essays, short stories, plays and film reviews, ran a community play-reading group and sang in the church choir. After her mother's death in 1979, Carroll became the family representative for "Mr. Popper's Penguins" and negotiated successive movie options with New Line, Disney and 20th Century Fox, who released a film version in 2011. This enabled her to travel and follow her creative instincts. She founded The William Morris Society of Canada in 1981. Her story "The Devil's Diamond" was performed by Ballet Atelier in 1980 and 1981, and published as a children's book in 1984. Carroll studied Italian language and art in Sienna with the University of Toronto and earned an M.A. in English literature (1992). She formed a theatrical production company, Glastonbury West and produced Macleod's "The Immortal Hour" (2001), her own "Between Us Goddesses" (2003), Schnitzler's "The Affairs of Anatol" (2005), performance/lecture "The Passion of Gordon Craig" (2006) and staged readings of "Overtures: A Necessary Pleasure" (2007). She sponsored the Atwater Symposium in Children's Literature in 2010 and created The Richard and Florence Atwater Graduate Scholarship for children's literature at the University of Toronto in 2012. Carroll was predeceased by her sister Doris Atwater and leaves behind daughter Kate and son Alec, their spouses Doug Gerhart and Deanna Bishop, grandchildren Darcy and Colin Gerhart and ex-husband Harding. Thanks to her many patient caregivers, Jayne-Ann Steele, Home Instead and Runnymede Health Centre. A memorial service and celebration of Carroll's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at Church of the Holy Trinity Chapel (upstairs, east door), 19 Trinity Square, Toronto. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Parkinson Society Canada.


Published in the Toronto Star on Dec. 14, 2013
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