Dave Bishop, former legislator representing the City of Rochester in the Minnesota House of Representatives, died August 3rd, 2020 at the age of 91. He was a high-energy, independent-minded lawyer whose tireless efforts to help people benefitted the city and state as a whole.
David Tyre Bishop was born March 09, 1929, in Syracuse, New York to Wesley and Elva (Tyre) Bishop. Dave's lifelong pursuit of education began in Syracuse, where he graduated from Nottingham High School. He was a 1951 graduate of Hamilton College and received a J.D. from Cornell University Law School specializing in International Affairs in 1954 and a Master degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government in 1991.
It was at a spring dance in 1953 that Dave met fellow Cornell student, Beatrice Habberstad of Rochester, Minnesota. A whirlwind romance ensued first in Ithaca, New York, then in Paris, France culminating in their engagement and marriage on July 24, 1954 at the First Presbyterian Church of Rochester.
Following their marriage, Dave began his professional career with the law firm of Furlow, Pemberton and Michaels, becoming a partner in 1956. Although Dave's law practice often involved divorce cases, he focused first on attempting reconciliation between spouses, believing that negotiation and compromise could save many marriages. Dave soon became involved in the civic and social organizations of his newly adopted hometown. He was most proud of the work he did as 'founding president' and Co-chairman of the YMCA building committee.
Dave withdrew from active law practice in January 1976 to pursue a real-estate development business that eventually encompassed extensive residential and commercial properties.
A self-described Eisenhower Republican, Dave worked behind the scenes of the area Independent-Republican party until 1982 when an opening presented itself in the form of a vacated seat representing the 33B District. Dave won the tight race and enthusiastically set off to start making 'good laws' for the city and state he loved. He expected to serve for two years but stayed for 20.
As a legislator, Bishop called himself a member of the "bridge-building caucus." He chose to make cross-party cooperation his norm while occasionally demonstrating partisanship--rather than the other way around. Known for his sense of humor and his ability to see all sides of every issue, Bishop earned respect from both parties along with that of the citizens of Minnesota whose praise meant the most to him.
Dave retired from public service in 2002, after which the Bishop's enjoyed traveling the world. and spending time with their 5 children, 15 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren at their lake home in Wisconsin.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be assisting the Bishop family. To leave a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
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As the legislative staff person for the City of Rochester I worked with Dave on City legislation from 1982 to 2002. During that time the legislative approval of the Rochester sales tax in 1983, the first such legislative sales tax authorization in Minnesota, was the most difficult legislative undertaking for the City. Dave led that effort and secured passage in the House. I also worked with Dave on the subsequent City sales tax extensions in 1989, 1992, and 1998. Without Dave's leadership, tenacity and skill the following list of projects that have greatly benefited the citizens and the City organization would not have occurred: 1983 Flood Control, Mayo Civic Center Arena Expansion; 1989 Additional funding needed for flood control; 1992 City Hall, Rochester Public Library, Fire Station No. 1; 1998 Higher Education, US Highway 52 City Share, Rochester International Airport, Water Quality Funding that allowed 1500 Township Homes with failed septic systems to receive City sewer and water at a greatly subsidized cost, Additional Civic Center Improvements. Additional great work was done by Dave on several State bonding requests for the City and on one of Dave's favorite projects to move the DNR geese land further out and secure land for the expansion of RCTC for many activities including a partnership with City for college and youth sports, expansion of Quarry Hill, and land for Olmsted County campus. I know this is only a partial list of what Dave helped accomplish for Rochester citizens, but I hope it provides some concrete examples of what great work he did and how tremendously the community benefited. It was always interesting and intense working with Dave as he had a tremendous passion for helping his citizens and his City. Gary Neumann