Communication Builds Our Community

Barbara Bishop, 1929-2021

Barbara Bishop left this world to go dancing in her heavenly home on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at the age of 91.

Barbara Ann Ingle was born Nov. 2, 1929, in Princeton, IN to parents Granville and Thelma Ingle. Barbara married the love of her life, Tom Bishop, in 1951. They met at a dance while both were attending the Indiana State Teachers College and they continued to enjoy dancing together throughout their 46 years of marriage.

Barbara taught in her native state of Indiana for two years before moving to Lake Wales in 1957, with Tom and their sons Mark and Mike, when Tom took the position of band director of Lake Wales Highlander Band and Barbara a position as a first-grade teacher at Polk Avenue Elementary.

She was named Polk County Teacher of the Year in 1971. Barbara received a state scholarship from Delta Kappa Gamma, the teacher sorority of which she was a member, and served as chapter president, treasurer and state vice president.

Barbara later earned her master's degree at the University of South Florida and went on to serve in other capacities in the Polk County School System including Administrative Assistant of the East Area Schools, Supervisor of Elementary Education, Principal of Dundee Elementary and Assistant Principal of Polk Avenue Elementary until her retirement after 26 years in the Polk County School System.

During her years in education Barbara was the known for her professionalism and her dedication to her students and peer educators. She was also known for her role of "First Lady of the Highlander Band" as she served alongside husband Tom, lining the fields for half time, attending band camps, chaperoning trips and most importantly for writing the Lake Wales High School Alma Mater and the School Fight Song! She later wrote school songs for Polk Avenue Elementary and Babson Park Elementary. Barbara enjoyed singing in the First Presbyterian Church choir where she and Tom attended. After retirement Barbara logged over 1,100 hours as a volunteer at Lake Wales Care Center.

Her most important role was the part she played in the lives of her family members. Barbara was lively, engaging, compassionate, encouraging and always the cheerleader for her family members. She and Tom shared a special bond and set a godly example of marriage for everyone who knew them. Barbara loved her Lord, her family, and her music – even when she couldn't remember details from her past, she would still love to talk about Tom and to sing along to some of her favorites, whether hymns or Frank Sinatra tunes.

Barbara was preceded in death by husband Thomas Bishop, sister Caroline Kolb and niece Tonia Howe. Barbara was proud of her family including sons Mark Bishop (Joann) of Atlanta, GA; Mike Bishop (Linda) of Babson Park; grandchildren Jolee (BJ) Beamer, Lake Wales; Paul Bishop (Niki) Winter Haven; Alex (Josh) Lee, Lauren (Villy) Stolper & Emily Bishop all of Atlanta, Ga and 4 great-grandchildren Aly, Ani, Lexie and June.

Barbara will be remembered for generations for her vivacious and contagious love of laughter and her excitement over the Christmas season. She brought joy to all who knew her. Barbara will be missed by many and remembered so very fondly!

A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 6 at5 First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales. Interment will follow at Lake Wales Cemetery followed by a reception at the church Family Life Center. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Lake Wales Care Center or to Tom Bishop Education Initiative, Lake Wales Arts Council, P.O. Box 608, Lake Wales, FL 33859.


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