Tim Bishop passes away
It’s been two years since Dr. Tim Bishop announced his retirement as “Voice of the Russellville Golden Tigers,” and last week, Russellville lost one of its biggest fans.
Bishop passed away March 2 at Huntsville Hospital following extended illness. He was 61 years old.
It’s hard to say whether Bishop was better known in this area for his radio voice or his work as a chiropractor. He was a 1972 graduate of Russellville High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Alabama. He worked as a disc jockey and radio station manager in the Shoals area before going on to get his Doctor of Chiropractic degree with honors from Cleveland Chiropractic College in 1983.
In 1985 he returned to Russellville and developed a thriving clinic, relieving patients’ pain and helping them to enjoy healthier lives.
For more than 30 years, he broadcast for Golden Tiger sports – more than 450 football and basketball games. Don Cox, Golden Tiger coach from 1980-1995, once said Bishop did as much as anyone to build the Golden Tiger tradition.
“No matter what the score or how the game was going, he was always positive and supportive of the team,” Cox said. “He was always so genuine and enthusiastic. He was a true fan calling the game.”
Russellville’s Rex Mayfield and Bishop went to school together and also knew each other in multiple other capacities. Bishop was on the school board when Mayfield was principal, and Mayfield remembers him as a professional, community-minded person.
“He always had the interest of the school at heart,” Mayfield said. “He didn’t take anything we did lightly. He took it very seriously.”
He also knew Bishop as the coach of his son Wes’ Little League team for many years.
“He was a great Little League coach. He was good to the kids, and he knew a lot about baseball. He taught them a lot, but he always wanted them to enjoy the game,” Mayfield said.
He was also a board member when current Russellville High School Principal Tim Guinn was hired into RCS. Guinn remembers him as the “epitome of a Southern gentleman.”
“He was an icon at every single sporting event,” Guinn said. “He bled black and gold.”
Guinn was also familiar with Bishop as a chiropractor. “He had a natural gift for healing people,” Guinn said. “He was really good at what he did – one of the most professional, kind and compassionate men I ever knew.”
But although Bishop was a Golden Tiger through and through and was known for saying, “It’s great to be a Golden Tiger,” Eastside Church of Christ elder and former minister Johnny Richardson said Bishop would want people to know, “It’s great to be a Christian.”
“He was a wonderful fella. He was very compassionate,” said Richardson. “He’d call and check on folks and send them letters. One of the things he did – most of the young families who had children, he would very quietly write them a letter and express his best wishes. You can’t believe how much good it did folks.”
Bishop served as a deacon in the church, as well as a Bible class teacher and song leader. Richardson, one of the officiants at Bishop’s funeral, said Bishop always showed a lot of concern for people – whether they were a patient of his or not.
“He was just the kind of guy I wish we had a lot of,” Richardson said.
His relationship with the Lord, according to Bishop’s son Dr. Elliot Bishop, was “the most important facet to my father’s life.”
“His love for his brothers and sisters in Christ was tremendous,” he said. “He was a kind and generous man, often performing tasks, errands and favors he never spoke of. He was counselor and confidant to many.”
Elliot Bishop also remembers his father as “a loving husband and father” who “cherished time with his family.”
“He lived for his family and would do anything for us,” he said. “He was not only our beloved father; he was our friend, confidant and steadfast adviser.
“He did all the things fathers are supposed to do,” he added. “He encouraged my sister and I to strive greatly and chase our dreams. He helped us to achieve our goals in every way possible. Our victories were his victories. I cannot imagine how a father could show any more love for his family than he did.”
In the eulogy Elliot Bishop gave for his father, he shared the sentiments that many likely cherish for a well-loved member of the community as well as few unique memories that could only be shared between father and son:
“He was a winner and the definition of class. He was a man of great character. He was well-respected not because he demanded it but because, how could you not respect a man like him? He was dignified, fiercely competitive, tough and quietly confident. He was a very intelligent man but always humble. He could find a way to have an excellent conversation with anyone – all ages, all levels of education.
“He was old school. He never sent an email. He would secretly shine my shoes when I was home even though I told him he didn’t need to do it. He always carried a Cross ballpoint pen, a clean white handkerchief and a pocket comb.”
Bishop was also active in many areas of the community, including as a two-term school board member – serving as board president during his tenure; Russellville Rotary Club member; volunteer for Meals on Wheels; and, of course, Little League coach. Among his honors, he was recognized as Russellville Citizen of the Year and was inducted into the Franklin County Sports Hall of Fame.