Obituary: Joe Wilson Bishop |

Obituary: Joe Wilson Bishop

December 30, 1936 — January 2, 2019

Joe Bishop, 82, of Arvada and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, died peacefully in his Steamboat Springs home on the morning of January 2 after a 2-year battle with cancer. Joe was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma, to Wilson and Margaret Oma Bishop. He moved to Denver in 1946 and graduated from Wheat Ridge High School, class of 1955. After attending college, he joined the United States Air Force, where he served honorably as a jet engine mechanic. Joe returned to the Denver area to work in a small contracting business started by his father, soon developing the firm into an active and thriving business. After a successful career developing housing in the Denver area Joe retired from business in 1987, enjoying a long retirement that allowed him to pursue his many interests and philanthropic activities. Together with his wife, Sara, and sons Hunter and Phillip he relocated to Steamboat Springs in 2000. Joe was a major benefactor to the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Jan Bishop Cancer Center, named in honor of his late sister. Joe was also a patron to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and supported the careers of two Olympic athletes. He was a significant contributor to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo, the UCHealth YVMC daVinci Surgical System and the Steamboat Springs annual Independence Day fireworks show. Joe was an active supporter of the Boone and Crockett Club and numerous other conservation organizations. An avid and active hunter, Joe visited some of the world’s wildest places. He was one of the early hunters to achieve the International Sheep Hunters Association (ISHA) “Super Slam of Wild Sheep” award, and he hunted actively throughout Africa, Asia and North America. One of Joe’s primary interests in the last few decades was the development of his Engadin Farm in Namibia’s Okahandja District, working toward introducing and re-introducing all native species originally present. In 2004 Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism recognized Joe’s efforts with its Conservationist and Game Rancher Award. Well-known throughout rodeo circles, Joe was an accomplished horseman, winning numerous regional and national titles and events with the Western States Cutting Horse Association (WSCHA) and the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHAA). Another of his many hobbies included restoring vintage steam tractors. A man who never met a stranger, Joe leaves behind friends all over the world whose lives are better for having known him. Joe is survived by his wife and partner of 26 years, Sara Lee Bishop. Joe is survived by five children and nine grandchildren. A favorite saying was “Don’t waste your time looking back, you’re not going that way.” Joe Wilson Bishop lived his life looking forward. A private family service is planned at Engadin Farm in Namibia, Africa. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Jan Bishop Cancer Center.

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