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Barney LeRoy Bishop

December 27, 1914 February 2, 2011
Barney LeRoy Bishop
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Obituary for Barney LeRoy Bishop

Worthington, MN

     Funeral services for longtime Worthington businessman Byron LeRoy “Barney” Bishop, 96, will be held at noon, Saturday, Feb. 5, in First Lutheran Church, Worthington, with Rev. Richard Ricker officiating. He died with his family at his side on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, at Sioux Valley Hospice Sunset Cottage, Worthington.
     Over the years Barney operated men’s clothing stores in five Worthington locations and in Wilmont and Luverne, Minn. He was known for his creative advertising, for his tireless promotion of downtown businesses and for his community involvement.
     Barney was born Dec. 27, 1914, on a farm in Montgomery County in southwestern Iowa, the fifth of W.R. “Billy” and Cassie Ann Fate Bishop’s seven children. The family farmed and raised cattle at several locations in southwestern Iowa.
     Barney graduated from Coburg High School in 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression. He helped with the family farming and ranching operations and earned money plowing and picking corn. In 1935 he began traveling extensively to find work, hitching car and train rides that took him to Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Oregon and Washington. He worked on threshing crews, split and drove fence posts, picked apples and hops, and stacked lumber at a sawmill. He began working for Dickinson’s Clothing in Red Oak, Iowa, in the spring of 1938 and later became a partner in the business.
     On Sept. 28, 1942, he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to the 972nd Signal Service Battalion. He spent much of his World War II service as a cook in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was honorably discharged on Feb. 4, 1946. He moved to Worthington in May 1946 and on July 1 opened Dickinson’s Clothes Shop. He married Barbara Malmin in Peterson, Minn., on July 6, 1947. Barbara eventually joined Barney as a partner and bookkeeper for Bishop’s Clothes Shop and continued to work alongside Barney after the birth of their daughters, Catherine Marie in 1956 and Patricia Louise in 1957.
     When Barney and Barbara sold Bishop’s Clothing Store in 1981, the Worthington business community paid tribute by sponsoring a 12-page “Barney’s Barnburner” advertising section in the Daily Globe. Many advertisers used clippings from the imaginative ads Barney, his partners and colleagues developed over the years.
     Barney played an active role in Worthington’s growth and development. He was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, Water and Light Board, Kiwanis, Worthington Country Club and First Lutheran Church. He made his first real estate investment in Worthington in 1950 and played a role in developing residential and commercial property here as well as in Florida and Alaska, a state he was proud to have visited 14 times.
     Barney is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Cathy and Terry Jelsing, Rugby, N.D.; Tricia and Toby Schield, Nome, Alaska; six grandchildren, Shana, Will, Jennie, Milan, Jon and Ahne; and four great-grandsons, Justin, Logan, Aidan and Luke; and many nieces and nephews. He also is the beloved American Grandpa of Mac, Mihn, Oi and Hoi Le.
     He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; brothers Robert, Jesse, Merrill and Forrest; sisters Isla and Lyra; and his parents.
     Burial will be in East Grace Cemetery, Peterson, Minn. Memorials may be sent to Hospice Cottage, Inc., Worthington.



Visitation will be held on Friday, February 4, 2011, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with a time of memory sharing from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington, MN.

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