Mr. Edward Simon Bishop, Jr.August 16, 1934 ~ December 21, 2017 (age 83)
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Eleven O’Clock in the Morning
New Hope Baptist Church
5202 Watkins Drive
Jackson, MS 39206
Dr. Jerry Young, Officiating
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion,
some compassion, some humor, and some style”.
These words, penned by Maya Angelou, reflect the heart and spirit of Edward Simon
Bishop, Jr. He lived his life intent to thrive, with passion in each undertaking, with compassion
toward those whom he encountered along the way, with infused humor amid the vicissitudes of
life and with a sophisticated, debonair style that became his signature.
Edward Simon Bishop, Jr. made his earthly entrance on August 16, 1934, the second
child born to Edward Simon Bishop, Sr. and Eva Hunter Bishop. He and his three brothers and
one sister grew and were nurtured in a loving Christian home, one filled with biblical teaching
and great expectations for the future of each child. Though Starkville, MS was his birthplace, he
and his family relocated to Corinth, MS where they chose Saint Marks Baptist Church as their
spiritual home. Sunday School and the Baptist Training Union were tremendous sources for
learning and growing in the Word and doctrine.
Edward was known as a loquacious child, quite talkative, but always with substance in
his words. He was outgoing, personable and never knew a stranger for he interacted and was
cordial with those he met. He used those gifts well and secured jobs for himself and his brother,
Ralph. It was in high school that he became known as a debonair, sharp dresser, a title he wore
well from that day forward. He enjoyed going to Memphis to shop for himself and Ralph.
After graduating from Corinth Colored High School where he played football, Edward
enrolled at Jackson College, now Jackson State University, and earned three degrees: a
Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, and a Masters Degree and a Specialists Degree in Adult
Education. While at Jackson College, Edward became the athletic announcer for games,
announcing for the football team and the band. He was a member of the Phi Beta Sigma
Having completed his undergraduate degree, Edward married Rosemary Nelson on June
26, 1956 and began his service in the United States Army in July of that same year. While
stationed in Germany, Edward learned to speak fluent German. In June 1958, the couple
returned to the states and established residency in Jackson, MS.. Their five children, Edward, III,
Michael, Orlesha, Jill and Roger, were the delight of their lives. Mt. Helm Baptist Church
became their church home where they enjoyed the preaching, teaching and fellowship of the
Edward’s first job was that of an art teacher at Jim Hill High School. There he taught art
and social studies, was the sponsor of the year book and coached golf and tennis. For many
years, the Jim Hill Yearbook won 1 st place in the National Scholastic Press Association Year
Book Award. After leaving Jim Hill, Edward worked for Herff Jones Graduate Supply Company.
During those years, he would carry one of his sons with him as he traveled the area, meeting
with principals and churches while selling graduate supplies including rings and other items. In
the eighties, he bought a franchise of Herff Jones located in Monroe, LA and commuted there
selling products. Known as an excellent salesman, he was quite successful and enjoyed sharing
his knowledge to motivate others to do the same.
An established entrepreneur, Edward, after years of selling graduate supplies, limousines
and funeral garments during the eighties and nineties, opened Premier Mortgage Company.
During those years, he also hosted a television show on the PEG network entitled, Power to the
People , that aired weekly and featured interviews with community leaders and citizens from the
community. A couple of decades earlier, he made history by becoming the first African
American to create and host a Sunday morning television show in Mississippi called Songs for
Sunday . His audience was inspired by the operettas, opera, oratory and choirs which featured
talented people from across the state. His passion and endeavors subsequently, led to him
becoming the first African American TV News Anchor on WJTV, a position he held during the
late sixties for 10 years.
At the turn of this century, Edward committed himself to further his Christian walk and
community spirit by faithfully leading Bible study for the residents at Azalea Assisted Living
Home in Jackson, MS. Until his death, Mr. Bishop and the residents looked forward to their
time to fellowship in the word each Sunday and Tuesday.
Of all his notable accomplishments, none were more precious to him than his
relationship with his children and grandchildren, each of whom he loved dearly. He spent
quality time with them, teaching, advising, counseling and sharing life-lessons. He cultivated
relationships with each, passing on to them his generous, compassionate spirit, either by
example or by anecdotes. Though considered a bit stubborn and opinionated at times, he yet
treasured the moments spent with each, making each one feel special, whether enjoying the
delectable meals or revealing his awareness of things about them or what they had done that
they thought he never knew. His desire was to leave for them a legacy of life and of living that
his children and grandchildren would consider worthy of emulating and replicating for their
offspring, legacies that surpassed his as they created their own signatures of life.
On December 21, 2017, Edward made his final transition from earth into eternity.
Forever remembering him with love, respect and admiration are his wife, Rosemary Nelson
Bishop, Jackson, MS; 3 sons, Edward S. Bishop, III, Jackson, MS, Michael D. (Malavika)
Bishop, Beaverton, Oregon; Roger M. (Leona) Bishop, Madison, MS; 2 daughters, Orlesha C.
Davis, Ridgeland, MS and Jill B.. (Lloyd) Myers, Avondale Estates, Georgia; 1 brother
B. V. (Carrine) Bishop, Sr.; one sister, Gwendolyn Bishop Chambliss; 11 grandchildren; 9 great
grandchildren and numerous other relatives and friends.
Having transitioned from earth into glory, Edward Simon Bishop, Sr. fulfilled his mission
in life. He not only survived, but he thrived; and he did so with passion, compassion, some
humor, and a debonair style!