Clarke Daniels Bishop, age 91, affectionately known to his family and friends as “Ham” passed from this life on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 after a brief illness. A private family service will be held in Odd Fellows Cemetery with Father Peter Gray officiating.
Ham was born on January 12, 1929 in Drew, Mississippi as the youngest child of Ernest and Birdie Bishop. He grew up in Drew where he excelled in football at Drew High School. He lettered in football as a defensive end at Ole Miss and was a member of the “M” Club. After college, he served his country faithfully as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force during the Korean War. For many years, he farmed in the Minter City and Shelby areas and later built and managed the Minter City Cotton Gin. He was a member of the American Legion Post 29 and the Episcopal Church of The Nativity, where he enjoyed singing in the choir and served as Jr. Warden. He also enjoyed activities at the Greenwood Golf and Country Club, and to say he was an avid golfer would be an understatement. He scored three “holes in one” during his many golf outings with friends, with his most recent one coming at the age of 88. In recognition of his service to the community, Ham was named the King of the Cotton Ball in 1998. Ham was a stalwart family member and a dear friend to many. He was known for his calm and courtly manner and many who knew Ham described him as "a true Southern gentleman." When asked about his nickname, Ham would explain that his mother planned to name him "Hamilton" because she admired Alexander Hamilton. His older siblings objected, saying that everyone would teasingly call him "Ham." His mother decided not to name him Hamilton, but his family kept the nickname anyway.
Ham enjoyed the love of three women during his lifetime. He was preceded in death by his first two, Elizabeth Little Bishop who passed away in 1985, Mary Louise “Totty” Terney Bishop who passed away in 2008, and is survived by his current wife, Jeffie Chatham Bishop of Greenwood. He is also survived by a daughter, Deborah Bishop Reid; a granddaughter, Casey Reid Stradcutter (Jacob); a grandson, Patrick J. Reid; three great grandsons, Landon Stradcutter, Clarke Stradcutter, and Bennett Stradcutter, all of Goose Creek, South Carolina; and a step-son, Dr. Philip Merideth (Denise) of Jackson, MS. He is also survived by Jeffie’s three children; Claire Chatham Calder, Brooks Chatham and Melissa Chatham George.
Memorials may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, 400 Howard St., Greenwood, MS 38930.
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