John M. Bishop

John M. Bishop

Sunday, September 5th, 1948 - Friday, May 15th, 2020
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John M. Bishop of Syracuse, New York passed away peacefully in the presence of family on May 15, 2020. He was born in Auburn, New York on September 5, 1948. He graduated from Cornell University (BS English) and Stanford University (PhD Modern Literature) with special interests in James Joyce, writing and psychoanalysis. He retired as a tenured Professor of English from UC Berkeley, where he is know internationally as a Joyce and Modern Scholar. His personal Interests include classical piano playing, writing, history, geology of Central New York, travel, camping, hiking, comedy, teaching and family.

He is predeceased by his mother, Anne Skomsky Bishop; father, Walter Bishop; and sister, Dr. Anne Bishop. He is survived by his sister, Dr. Jeanne Bishop; niece, Katherine Shaw (Adam Dieck); brother-in-law, Dr. Kenneth Shaw; and many cousins.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be live streamed at 11:00 am on Tuesday, May 19, follow the link on his obituary page: Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in DeWitt.

Former students and colleagues are organizing a virtual celebration of John’s life to be held later this summer. Details will be announced on the UC Berkeley English Department website and on their Facebook.

Contributions may be made to Holy Cross Church, 4112 E. Genesee St., DeWitt, NY 13214; the Department of English Fund at UC Berkeley, scholarship in honor of Professor John Bishop, or the International James Joyce Foundation, gifts to commemorate John will go towards graduate student scholarships,

John leaves the legacy of his brilliant mind and gentle soul with all those he has touched. My brother, “So soft this morning ours…Whish! A lone a last a loved…”
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Service Details

Service will be live streamed on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 11:00 am.


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3 trees have been planted in memory of John M. Bishop

Susan Boylan

Posted at 09:11am
So very sad to learn of John’s passing this past week, on Bloomsday of all days. Dr. Bishop was my favorite professor at UC Berkeley and I have very fond memories of his Joyce seminar in 1982. Sending condolences to all his family and close friends. He will be missed.

Harley Schultz

Posted at 04:19pm
I was John’s roommate at Cornell University
We then reunited in the Bay Area.
I was very proud of his academic and intellectual accomplishments, but my fondest memories are personal.
No one told terrible jokes as badly as John.
As poor students we enjoyed such culinary treats as “the people’s meatloaf “ one pound of cheap ground something, a can of soup, and as much bread as necessary to spread it out to the number of guests. Thankfully we could wash it down with his dad’s homemade booze.
My other fond memory is John scribbling on index cards with his microscopic handwriting, which later became his thesis and book.
He was a good soul, and I will miss him.
Harley Schultz

Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 10:47am
A tree to honor John's work at Berkeley.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of John M. Bishop — Plant a Tree Now

Pearl James

Posted at 10:44am
John Bishop was my professor at Berkeley from 1990-1994, and he had a huge impact on me. I took several classes with him and eventually graduated to the Finnegan's Wake reading group on Tuesday evenings. I vividly remember being in his Joyce seminar and hearing him explain how to read Ulysses. All of Joyce's characters are of course deeply flawed. John talked about them and those flaws with such compassion and understanding. I learned a lot about reading literature, of course, but I also tried to adopt his attitude of compassion, humility, understanding towards others and myself. He was such a gentle man. His stroke saddened all of us, and I'm so grateful to you, his sisters and his wider family, for taking such good care of him in later years after he returned to New York. I'm now a professor myself and I think of him often. I wish I had been closer and able to see John more. Please know that we too will remember and miss him. -Pearl James

Ann Longo Amoia

Posted at 02:15pm
So sorry to hear of John's passing. I was in elementary school with John. Just looking at some pictures the other night of John and me in a play at Seymour St. School. I have many fond memories of him and your family. Prayers for you all.
Ann (Longo) Amoia

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