There will be a Celebration of Life for Leonard Bishop on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at the Bishop Farm near the pond (191 Perry Street, Lacona, IA 50139). There will be a mass at 11:00 a.m. with a luncheon and time of fellowship following.
In lieu of flowers memorials are requested to Hospice of Pella, Sacred Heart Catholic Church Building Fund, or the Christian Opportunity Center in Indianola.
Leonard Bishop, 84, of rural Lacona passed away Monday, February 1, 2021 at his home in Marion County, near Melcher-Dallas. Leonard was born on March 24, 1936 in Des Moines to Ernest and Henrietta (Burch) Bishop. At the age of three, he lost his father to a construction accident-an experience that shaped the remainder of his life. He attended St. Anthony Grade School and graduated from Dowling High School in 1954. On May 30, 1956, Leonard was united in marriage to Ella Jean Frueh in Bauer, Iowa. The couple lived near Des Moines on a farm before settling in rural Marion County in 1963 when Leonard began living his dream of farming and raising a large family.
Leonard was a problem-solver, a leader, and extremely determined. Having grown up a city kid, the path towards farming was not the expected or easiest life for him to pursue, but Leonard knew what he wanted and worked hard to achieve it. With Jean by his side, Leonard raised pigs, corn and beans. More importantly, he and Jean nurtured and tended to a large family. In 1976, Leonard designed and built the Bishop Farm home with the help of his family. During the Farm Crisis of the 1980's, Leonard left farming and began his own construction and remodeling company using his self-taught carpentry skills.
Along with Jean, Leonard took great joy in being a parent, grandparent, and great grandparent. Many of his grandchildren and great grandchildren took their first tractor rides with him, learned to play the guitar from him, or planted spring seedlings alongside him. Leonard was a builder, and together he and Jean crafted the life they dreamed of on the farm. Undoubtedly his greatest project was the large, loving family he leaves behind and the legacy of hard work and dedication to loved ones and community.
Over the years Leonard was very involved in serving his church and community. He served on the Melcher-Dallas School Board, including time as board president. He was active in music ministry at his church, leading music for services and retreats. He recruited and encouraged others in his church to share their musical talents as well. Leonard also donated countless hours of volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and other charitable building projects.
Survivors include his children: Janet (David) Drey of Des Moines, Carol (Harold) Armstrong of Shakopee, MN, Jerry (Lori) Bishop of Des Moines, LuAnn (Jeff May) Rinard of Des Moines, Dennis (Dana) Bishop of Omaha, Jim (Leanne) Bishop of Eagan, MN, Ray (Carol) Bishop, of Aurora, IL, Tom Bishop, of Lacona, Jeff Bishop of Indianola, Joe (Tara) Bishop of New York, NY, 25 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, three siblings: Dolores Copic of Glendale, AZ, Donna Schmidt of Surprise, AZ, Bill Bishop of Highland, IL, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Ella Jean Bishop, his loving wife of 57 years; his parents and three brothers: Phil Bishop, John Bishop, and Bob Bishop.
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