Melvin Jones Fellow: Alan Bishop

Alan Bishop photo

Alan Bishop was born on a farm near West Union in northeast Iowa on March 30, 1938, to Lewis and Vonny Bishop, the second of six children. He attended a one-room elementary school near his home and high school in West Union, where he developed a strong interest in mathematics and science. After high school, Alan attended Iowa State University from 1955-1960, graduating with a BS in mathematics.

In the fall of 1960, he began teaching high school mathematics and science at Villisca in southwest Iowa, where he met his wife, Erma Jean (Jeannie) Barker. They were married in Nodaway, Iowa, on August 6, 1961. During the next few years, Jeannie and Alan became the parents of three sons and one daughter. The oldest, David, lives with his wife, Suzanne, and their two boys near Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The second, Mark, lives in Burlington, Iowa with his wife, Jolan, and their daughter. Both David and Mark teach mathematics at Iowa Wesleyan College. The third son, Craig, lives in Macomb, Illinois, where he is a computer support technician for Infobahn Outfitters. He and his wife, Carla, have a daughter and a son. Alan and Jeannie's youngest child, Amy, is a junior high mathematics teacher at Metamora, Illinois, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their son and daughter.

After teaching high school for five years, Alan entered graduate school at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he studied mathematics for two years. He earned MA and Education Specialist degrees in 1966 and 1967, respectively, and joined the mathematics faculty at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, Fall Quarter 1967. In the summer of 1970, Alan and Jeannie and family returned to Western Michigan University where he furthered his mathematical studies. He received the PhD degree in mathematics in the summer of 1972, and rejoined the mathematics faculty at WIU where he remained until retiring in 2003.

Alan joined the Macomb Lions Club in October, 1972, having been sponsored by Lion Jim Calhoun. He immediately became active in the Club, heading up the first annual Light Bulb and Broom Sale the following spring. That experience was important in whetting his appetite for serving the Club, especially participating in the fundraising activities. Since then he continued serving the Club as Chair of the Community Service Committee and several terms each as Candy Day Chair, Light Bulbs and Brooms Sales Chair, and Fund Raising Committee Chair. After serving in all three vice-presidential positions, he became President of the Club in 1978-79 and then later was Club treasurer for seven years.

Alan believes it is important to serve the community. He is grateful to the Lions Club for giving him the opportunity to work along side of other like-minded Lions to make that service possible.

-Alan Bishop

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