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  • Elizabethton Star

    A Life Lived: Paula Bishop was one of baseball’s biggest fans

    By Rozella Hardin,

    2024-06-11
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=25UEll_0to2X1TS00

    Paula Bishop was one of baseball’s biggest fans, especially of the Elizabethton River Riders and their predecessors, the Elizabethton Twins. She and her mother, the late Mrs. Gertrude Bishop, opened their home to many of the Twins players through the years. They not only attended local games but also traveled to away games in places such as Wytheville, Va.; Paintsville and Pikeville, Ky.; Johnson City; Bristol; and other locations. They also visited spring training games.

    Paula served on the board of directors of the Elizabethton Twins. This summer, baseball will be played without Paula in the stands as she died May 16 following a brief illness.

    Not only was Paula a fan of the Elizabethton Twins, but she also enjoyed Elizabethton High School sports and attended their games, including basketball, football, and baseball.

    Paula was a 1960 graduate of Elizabethton High School, where she was a member of the Betsy Band. Dick Ryan, a friend who has known Paula all her life, described Paula “as a very kind and giving person.”

    “She enjoyed people, especially her friends, some of whom go back to childhood and high school. A group of them met weekly for lunch. We grew up in a great neighborhood on Holston Avenue and K Street, and I was at their house a lot. You could not have asked for better friends,” Ryan shared.

    Paula graduated from Carson-Newman College and went on to earn her master’s degree from East Tennessee State University. Paula retired from the Tennessee Department of Human Services after 32 years of service. A working friend from TDHS, Leonard Febuary, delivered the eulogy at Paula’s funeral. “We worked together for 25 years. At one time she was my boss, and later I was her boss. We not only worked together, but we went to ballgames and were fans of the Elizabethton Twins. Paula was great to work with. She was a hard worker and gave her best to the job and the families she worked with. It was an honor to know her and to be her friend,” said Febuary.

    Febuary added that Paula loved her family and gave a lot of money and time to many causes. “She was very charitable,” he shared.

    In addition to her work and baseball, Paula was a member of the Elizabethton Book Club and the Elizabethton Woman’s Club. As a member of the Woman’s Club, she became involved in the reading program at Little Milligan School, and along with club members, donated books and materials to the school library.

    Paula was an avid reader, and in her free time, she read a lot, watched sports, and caught up on the news. “She was a busy person, but a fun person,” said her nephew, Keith Bishop. “She loved the Elizabethton Twins, and in addition to providing housing for many of them through the years, she and her mother fed them. It was nothing unusual to go to their house at suppertime and find 10 to 15 ballplayers there eating,” shared Keith.

    Paula, like her mother, loved her extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. “They enjoyed going to Dunlap, Tenn., every summer to visit with Mamaw’s family. They usually would visit a few days when they went, visiting cousins, aunts, and uncles,” Keith said. He noted that his grandmother, known to many as “Pete,” lived to be 104 years old.

    “Paula and Pete were tight. They enjoyed many of the same things and the same people. They were kind to everyone and enjoyed helping people and sharing with others,” Keith shared.

    Perhaps her co-worker and friend, Leonard Febuary, summed up Paula’s life best when he said, “she lived life well… she was there for other people, and she loved and gave to the utmost. Her death reminds us to be good to each other every day, not only to tell people that we love them, but to show them love, because you don’t know what day will be your last on this earth.”

    Paula was laid to rest at Happy Valley Memorial Park next to her mother. A couple of friends are interred close by – all baseball fans. “They were saying, ‘Hurry Paula, there’s a double-header tomorrow,’” said Febuary with a chuckle.

    The post A Life Lived: Paula Bishop was one of baseball’s biggest fans appeared first on www.elizabethton.com .

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