Irene Bishop

                    May 18, 1916  -  September 17, 2011

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Life Legacy


Irene Bishop, aged 95, passed away on September 17, 2011.

Irene was born on May 18, 1916 to William E and Anabel Shelton on a homestead ten miles northeast of Deer Trail, CO. She was one of two children. During her growing up years, she attended school in Deer Trail, CO, Idaho Springs, CO, Hot Springs, NM, and El Paso, TX, as her family moved in attempts to improve her mother's asthmatic condition. During this time, Irene and her parents traveled in what must have been one of the first motor homes of all time which her father constructed himself. It was Irene's home for several years. Irene remembered how much her mother loved music and played numerous musical instruments. Her father William was known as "Barber Bill," and her brother William D, was known first as “Buster” and later as Jack. Both were barbers by profession and avid baseball players who played on the Deer Trail town team which won the trophy for the Union Pacific league in 1923. Her father, Bill was also a semi professional wrestler, and coached wrestling in Fort Bliss, during the families stay in El Paso, Texas. Irene’s mother passed away and was buried in El Paso during the Christmas holiday in 1930.

Irene was athletically inclined and was President of the Pep Club in Deer Trail in her senior year. She particularly enjoyed volleyball, field hockey, and track. Irene graduated from Deer Trail High School in 1933 and attended Business School in Fort Collins for a time.

After a two year courtship, Irene married Samuel "Buss" Bishop on May 5, 1935. The happy couple lived in the Colorado Springs area until 1940 when they moved to their own farm/ranch on Willow Creek, fifteen miles southwest of Deer Trail. While in Colorado Springs, Buss worked at Broadmoor, and helped with the construction of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Ice Palace, Rodeo Stadium, Will Rogers Shrine, and Pikes Peak Visitors Center on top of the Peak. During this time, two daughters were born - Virginia Anne, on January 5, 1937 and Margaret Clairene, May 13, 1939. After moving to Willow Creek, two more children were born, Willa Charlene, August 9, 1942, and Gerald Dee, October 21, 1945. The children’s first school was a one room country school which was across the prairie with 5 gates to open and close since the roads were mostly just wagon trails. Irene home schooled Margaret who had special needs, and later the other children attended school in Byers, CO.

Irene was very active in the Ex-Moore 4-H Club as leader in Home Economics: (cooking, sewing, gardening, home beautification), and Buss was in charge of the children’s livestock projects. Irene made sure to include Christian teaching as part of her children’s education and worked hard to set a Christian example throughout her life. In the late 1960’s Buss and Irene bought a home in Colorado Springs where Irene and Margaret lived while Buss worked in Deer Trail and visited on weekends. Irene volunteered many long hours as director of her church’s large Community Welfare Dept. Returning to the ranch in the mid 1970’s, Buss stayed busy running cattle while Irene took care of her large vegetable and flower gardens and visited her children whenever possible. After Buss passed away in 1989, Irene spent summers at the ranch with her son Jerry and his family and winters in Mississippi and Florida with daughter Virginia and her family. She began writing short stories about her life which were published in the Prairie Times. In the mid 1990’s daughter Charlene moved to the ranch and helped with Irene’s care. In 2006 Irene and Char moved to Limon where Irene would be closer to medical care and have more things to do during the winters. She made many friends in Limon and treasured her time there.

Irene is survived by her children, Virginia Evans, of Sumner, MS, Margaret Bishop, of Colorado Springs, CO, Charlene Copley, of Limon, CO and Jerry Bishop, of Deer Trail, CO. She also has many grandchildren and great grandchildren.




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Born: May 18, 1916

Place of Birth: Deer Trail

Death: September 17, 2011

Place of Death: Limon, Colorado

Occupation: Homemaker


Memorial donations may be made to:
Carla’s Cluster Care P.O. Box 39 Limon, Colorado 80828

This memorial provided by:
Love Funeral Homes