Legend Thomas L. Bishop Passed Away May 5, 2017

May 09, 2017 Comments Off by Admin
A true renaissance man, entrepreneur and one of a kind. He was born in 1938 into a family of Wild West Show performers. His father, enamored with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show which he had seen in person in England, started his own show based in Ridgeville, ON starting in 1914. Tom grew up performing along with his sister Lorna, trick riding and trick roping, and appearing on the CBC show the Cliff McKay Holiday Ranch in Toronto in the 1950’s. After high school, Tom began working at local radio stations and had his own show at the age of 18 called ‘The Melody Corral ‘ playing cowboy music. He also had a popular show called the “Supper Club” at St. Catharine’s CKTB, and later an agricultural show on QRFM.
After marrying in 1965 Tom and Jan (nee Whitty) were hired to bring their horses to Blackpool, England for a show called the ‘Canadian way of life.’ Once in Europe they discovered that the company had gone broke, leaving them stranded with their horses. Tom and the other cowboys and cowgirls put together a Wild West Show to earn enough money to get their horses back to Canada.
Back at home, Tom began a Wild West Show and Rodeo with his wife, sister Lorna and brother in law, Chuck Aylett, touring throughout the eastern United States and Canada. This included numerous shows at the Canadian National Exhibition and Toronto’s Royal Winter Fair among many others. Later, Tom became one of the Toronto film industry’s early ACTRA (Association of Canadian, Television and Radio Artists) members as a stuntman, actor and head wrangler.
His first job was with the CBC television series ‘Forest Rangers’ in the 1950s and he continued to work in the film industry up until last year with such shows as Road To Avonlea, Murdoch Mysteries, Pompeii, and Anne of Green Gables. A self educated handy man, he built a number of horse drawn wagons including a police wagon, a steam fire engine and a working steam calliope that was a labor of love and took him 10 years to build. He machined the brass whistles on a 1940s lathe and painstakingly made the wood carvings on this 2 tonne horse drawn wagon.

He was a kind man with a ready smile, great sense of humour, an innate curiosity and an ability to find a solution to any problem. He loved his family, his church and his horses dearly and was a true original. A longtime member of the First Church of Christ Scientist in St. Catharines.
He is pre-deceased by his sister Lorna (Aylett) and brother-in-law Chuck, his mother Eva and father Thomas W Bishop. He is survived by his wife Jan, his son Tom Jr (Angie) of Ridgeville, his daughters Sally (Todd Lemieux,) of Calgary, Sarah (Mark Schneider) of Fonthill and grandchildren Remington and Laney. Also brothers in-law Ray Whitty, Dennis Whitty (Lorna) and many nieces and nephews.
As per his wishes, cremation has taken place. Visitation at the Vineland Chapel of Tallman Funeral Homes, 3277 King St. on Saturday, May 27th from 7-8:30pm and a Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, May 28th at 2:00pm in the chapel with reception to follow in the Tallman Fireside Room. Online condolences at Tallman Funeral Homes.
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