Thomas Joel Bishop

Published 10:01 am Monday, June 17, 2024

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Thomas Joel Bishop, 73, of Elizabethton, passed away on Friday, June 14, 2024, after a lengthy illness. He was a fighter and never gave up. He was born to the late Thomas Bill and Mamie Mae Lewis Bishop and was also preceded in death by a sister, Etta Hughes, and a brother, Billy Bishop.

Joel “Papaw” was of the Baptist faith. He attended Zion Baptist Church but was still a member at Green Pine Baptist Church. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to cut up and have fun. He never met a stranger. He loved his family but especially his grandchildren. Joel loved to fish any chance he could.

Joel served in the Army and the Army National Guard. He served two tours in Vietnam and fought in Desert Storm. Joel earned three purple hearts, three bronze stars with Valor, a National Defense medal, Army Commendation medal, Presidential Unit Citation Medal, Combat Action Badge, Republic of Vietnam Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, a Silver Star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Good Conduct Medal, an Army Achievement Medal among many others during his service to his country. Joel fought for his country and died loving his country. He tried to reenlist when his son joined the Marine Corps but they said he had fought and served enough, much to the relief of his family. They were ready for him to spend time at home. Joel went on to work for the VA after his service and retired from the VA Mountain Home.

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Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 44 years, Wilma Wilson Bishop of the home; three children, Benjamin Joel Bishop, Emily Rose Crusenberry and Jeff Lee Murr; grandchildren, Jaxson Sage Crusenberry, Scarlet Josie Sparks Bishop, Deon and Matthew Murr; a daughter-in-law, Calissta Bishop; a sister, Phyllis Ann Bishop Cline (Bill); and several nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members. He will be greatly missed.

A service to celebrate the life of Joel Bishop will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 17, at Tetrick Funeral Home in Elizabethton with Dr. Alan King officiating. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. til the hour of service. Joel will be laid to rest at Mountain Home VA cemetery on Friday, June 21, at 10 a.m. Those that wish to attend the graveside service for Joel are asked to meet at Mountain Home at 9:50 a.m. Friday. Pallbearers will be chosen from family and friends with Jaxson Sage Crusenberry, and his roommate and close friend at Lakebridge, Leonard Hicks, as an honorary pallbearer. The family would like to thank the staff at Lakebridge for all their love and care through his time there, the nurses of 4300 at JCMC and the staff of the VA Medical Center. Those that would prefer memorials in lieu of flowers may donate to the Wounded Warrior Project or to the Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims to Veterans for Peace/VAORRC and sent to VAORRC, P.O. Box 303, Prince Station, New York, NY 10012-0006 or to the Zion Baptist Church Building Fund. Words of comfort can be sent to the Bishop family through our website,

Tetrick Funeral Home, Riverside Chapel, 211 North Riverside, Elizabethton, TN 37643 (423) 542-2232, is honored to serve the family of Joel Bishop.