Lt. Bruce Byron Bishop passed away in the afternoon of September 10th, 2023, after a long and storied life and a short battle with cancer. He blessed his family with a week’s time to say our final goodbyes, but even more so by providing caring hands to carry us through and loving hugs just as big as his heart. He was born March 16th, 1937, in Seattle, WA to Edwin Bishop and Velma (Spencer) Bishop, the youngest of three boys. He is survived by his brothers, Edwin L. Bishop (Joan) and Donald E. Bishop, his daughters Nancy Wallace and Kathleen (Scott) Beane, his grandchildren Ryan Bishop, Shelby Wallace, William Wallace, Aidan Leeper, Spencer Beane, Chelsey Booth, and Amanda Beane, 6 great-grandchildren, along with numerous “bonus” children, grand and great, and a very long list of friends.
He attended Lincoln High School in Seattle, after which he drove a taxi. He then attended Washington State University, where he met his late wife, Sharon D. (Odegard) Bishop, and attained a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Science. They were married October 16th, 1965 in Charleston, SC. He joined the Navy in 1961, progressing from Ensign to Lieutenant, serving a tour in Vietnam with the Brown Water Navy. During Bruce’s time in the Navy, he and Sharon were able to travel the world, making it to 6 of 7 continents, before honorably discharging in June of 1971.
In September 1971, they settled in Centralia, WA where together they owned and operated Mellen Street Texaco and Bishop Racing Enterprises. He and Sharon progressed through Street Stocks, Super Stocks, NASCAR Late Model Sportsman, and Winston West Grand Nationals. In 1990, he and Sharon moved to Spokane, WA, where he drove tow truck for TnT Towing until his retirement in 2003. Cabin fever and his social nature led him to drive courtesy cars for Becker Buick from 2006 to 2012. Bruce was often seen at hockey games, following his grandchildren in SAYHA, PNAHA, and IEHOA at Eagle’s Ice Arena. He was a longtime fan and season ticket holder for the Spokane Chiefs. The day before he passed, he celebrated his 33rd year sober with longtime friends and family.
In lieu of flowers or food, it is requested a donation be made to your local youth sports association or animal shelter. A celebration of life, open to all that knew him, will occur at 2pm on October 14th, 2023, at Eagles Aerie 2, 6410 N. Lidgerwood St, Spokane, WA 99208. He will be interred at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, WA.