Gary Bishop, a retired letter carrier and master gardener who turned his Lincoln property into a botanical showcase, has died. He died June 15 of a brain tumor, said his wife, Melva, of Lincoln. He was 64 years old.
Gary was born on May 27, 1957, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Philip and Margaret Bishop. He grew up in Gretna, Nebraska, and graduated from Gretna High School in 1975. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in history in May 1982 and was a member of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for students and professors of history. He joined the U.S. Army in November of that year.
Gary was stationed in Budingen, Germany, and rose to the rank of captain. He was honorably discharged in November 1985 and began work at the U.S. Postal Service shortly afterward. He retired in 2014.
Gary met his wife, Melva, also a letter carrier, at the University Place station in Lincoln. They married on Nov. 29, 1998, five days after both were baptized at Capitol City Christian Church.
Besides his gardening, Gary collected books and had a huge library. He collected swords, flags and other military artifacts as well as model trains and pocket watches. He built intricate castles out of Legos. He researched graves at Wyuka Cemetery. He loved classical music. He was fascinated by Austrian history and the Habsburg dynasty and was proud of his English heritage. He read three newspapers a day. He planted and maintained the flower beds at Capitol City Christian Church. His favorite saying was: “No one is guaranteed tomorrow, so make the most of each day.” This is how he lived his life, his wife said.
“He was brilliant,” Melva Bishop said. “He was not an ordinary person.”
Besides his wife, Gary is survived by his parents, brother Larry Bishop, sister Lisa (Dale) Graham, niece and nephew Olivia Bishop and Dan Bishop, all of Omaha; step-children Kim Duryea (Mark Neumeier), Craig and Rhonda Magnuson, and Brent Magnuson (Theresa Schoonover), all of Lincoln. He is also survived by step-grand-children Ashley Pfeifer, Sara (Joe) Hilger, Joel (Melissa) Dryer, Heather (Curt) Smith, Eryka Magnuson, Danielle Duryea; and step-great-grandchildren Mercedes Pfeifer, Michael Pfeifer, Zoe Magnuson, Emily Hamilton, Jaela Smith, Bodie Smith, and Jadyn, Katelynn, Braxtyn and Franklyn Dryer.
Private family inurnment.