Britt Dixon Bishop barreled into this world on September 3rd, 1956 to complete the family of Alta Lou and James Bishop. As the baby of the family, his older brother and sister, Charlie and Jimmie Lou, would definitely say that Britt’s arrival shook things up around their house in Hamlin, Texas. He found all types of ways to terrorize them and get them in trouble as they grew up, and he could often be seen standing off to the side with that sly grin on his face while Charlie or Jimmie Lou took their licks for his mischief. However, nothing could rival the trouble Britt and his siblings could get into when they joined forces. Later in life, when you got the three of them together, they could entertain a crowd forever with stories about their childhood antics. As it goes with this life, things aren’t always rosy, and unfortunately, Lou and her young children were forced to endure the painful loss of James entirely too early. Nevertheless, the three Bishop children grew into adults who loved one another with a passion that was explosive at times. But, most of all, they did exactly what Lou and James would have expected, and they protected one another and loved each other for exactly who they each were – unconditionally, unapologetically, and with every fiber of their being.
Over the years, Britt owned and trained a host of animals including dogs and horses who we know were waiting for him over that rainbow bridge when he arrived at his destination on Tuesday evening. One of his horses, named Bachelor, was a particular favorite of Britt’s. Close family and friends know that it seemed for many years that he may remain just that - a bachelor - for his entire life, but he did finally settle down and marry. During that marriage, God gave him a daughter, Brittany Bishop, and if you ever saw him around that baby girl, you could tell that she was the light of his life. As he had previously done with his nieces and nephews, Christmas and other holidays turned into bigger productions than could ever be imagined. But, there were also simple games like “Grocery Store Bandito” which were played with gusto for many hours. He loved to have fun and he cherished seeing her smile and laugh during her early years. These were the memories that he kept tucked away in his heart during his darkest days. Britt always had a surprise or a little something special for the young kids who were part of his life and he never failed to make them feel adored. He was feeding Santa’s reindeer long before it became a Pinterest and Facebook fad and for these sweet memories, his family is forever grateful. Britt’s love for children and animals was a remarkable feature of his somewhat mysterious soul. His family hopes that you will help us keep his memory alive by just performing a simple, small act of kindness for an animal or a child every once in a while.
Britt was a Hamlin Pied Piper, Class of 1975, and he kept up with many of his friends from his school days. He was known for several silly pranks around town, but he took those secrets with him on Tuesday evening. Those are stories for another day… Britt left Hamlin and attended Tarleton in Stephenville, where he, of course, rode horses, and met countless other friends who he treasured his entire life. He may or may not have attended a few classes when he was there. When Britt left Stephenville and returned to Abilene, he began a successful sales career for what would eventually become a division of BFI. This career allowed him to travel and meet even more people that he remained friends with over the years. Around 2006, Britt retired and began spending more time around his home in Potosi. We know he would say his best times during these years were spent outside working with horses, helping others, and tinkering with junk that he just knew he could turn into something cool. He was always wheeling and dealing – even in these last few years from his hospital bed. It truly was a sight to see. Those who knew him best could always count on a call from him that began with some type of a deal he had worked out with someone he met somewhere along the way. And, listen here, if he thought you didn’t keep up your end of the deal or could have done better, you were in for a scathing. He honestly could be a little difficult (to put it nicely), but in the end, he won you back over in his own little way. He just had that ability to make you love him even when you wanted so badly to be mad at him.
Britt loved to watch Dallas back in the 80’s, so much so that when he purchased his place in Potosi, he appropriately named it the “Poor Fork Ranch”. He really loved to watch that old scallywag J.R. Ewing get up to no good playing the character that everyone loved to hate! Britt loved listening to Hank Williams and watching old cowboy movies, and more recently, Yellowstone. He especially loved a good deal and he loved it even more when he left the table feeling like he might have gotten one over on you. Britt loved the Western Heritage, the Abilene Fair & Rodeo, and the Cowboy Reunion in Stamford. Well, in retrospect, he may have liked the part where he got all dressed up and was the center of attention even more than the actual event taking place. He loved to sit around with friends and family and spin tales of days gone by in the way that only he could. The Britt Bishop that each of us knew and loved may have been different in many ways and life may have scarred him a little, but at his core, we know that he just wanted the people he loved to enjoy their lives to the fullest. That was evident during the many times he would show up out of nowhere with a pony and a buggy, or a horse and carriage just so he could make sure all the kiddos were having fun. We would have to take out a two-page spread in the paper to share all the stories we have seen and heard regarding his random acts of kindness and the times he showed up for people who didn’t have anyone else there. Since we can’t do that, we can just ask again that you remember to tell your friends and family that you love them and show up for them as often as you can. Even though Britt leaves this world a little quieter and a lot less colorful, hopefully we can take those good memories that he leaves us with and make this world a little brighter.
Britt touched many lives and we know he will not soon be forgotten. He was witty, outgoing, and tough as nails right up until he drifted away from us in Temple, Texas on April 7, 2020. We know Britt joined some big characters who are probably spoiling him rotten in Heaven right now. These include, but are definitely not limited to, his parents, Lou and James, his GrannyMom (Carrie Britton), his stepfather and friend (Ben Turner), and close friend Tracy Rowland. Britt Dixon Bishop leaves behind a daughter, Brittany Bishop, and a brother and a sister, Charlie (Marsha) and Jimmie Lou (Gary). His siblings will miss him every single day, but they know he is not hurting in any way any longer. Britt had special relationships with his nieces and nephews, neighbors and their children and grandchildren, and friends all over the Big Country. During these past few years, friends from Abilene, Potosi, Hamlin, Aspermont, McCaulley, Midland/Odessa, New Mexico, and many other places made it a point to visit and check on Britt often, and the family wants them to know it did make a difference to him in such a special way. Of course, Ray, Chuck, Monte, Jeff, Rode, Coty, Joe Wayne, Ronnie, Irby, Paul, Scotty, Luke, Babe and several others were constant companions and helpers throughout and we can assure you he appreciated the time you spent with him more than you will ever know. Also, E.C. Ice, our faithful pastor who continually supported the family and visited with Britt about Jesus every chance he got is so deserving of our love and appreciation during this time. Our family also wants to thank the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White who lovingly cared for Britt – even on days when he may have acted a little unlovable. We appreciate the care and attention that so many of the doctors, nurses and other staff members showed Britt over the past few years. Finally, our greatest and most sincere thanks goes out to the transplant team and the heart donor who enabled us to share Britt for 3 more years.
Due to current circumstances a PRIVATE graveside service will be held on Monday, April 13, 2020, in Hamlin Memorial Cemetery. Even though the family cannot welcome you at the graveside service or their home, they sincerely appreciate your thoughts and prayers. To acknowledge the friends and family that Britt was blessed with, the family requests your appearance in a parked parade style procession to officially send Brett on to his eternal resting place. The funeral procession will drive around Hamlin Methodist Church to allow friends and family (safely within or near their vehicles) to be "received". The family will depart Adams-Foster-Ray Funeral Home at 12:30. (for safety reasons please DO NOT park on Hwy 92.)
If you would like to donate in honor of Britt, please feel free to do so to the charity of your choice, or any one of the following:
Hamlin Ex-Students Alumni Association
Texas Cowboy Reunion
Western Heritage Classic
West Texas Fair and Rodeo
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Britt Dixon Bishop, please visit our floral store.