Obituaries: Amelia Bishop, W.L. “Wimpy” Smith

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Amelia Bishop, 94, Sept. 12 in Austin. She was the first woman editor of the college newspaper at Texas College of Mines—now University of Texas, El Paso. In the early years of World War II, she moved to Southern California and worked as a cub reporter at the Hollywood Citizen News, where seasoned colleagues called her “Tex.” Amelia BishopIn the later war years, she became a welder in the defense industry. After moving to New Orleans, she worked at the Times-Picayune and had a brief stint as a radio show host. She returned to Texas and received a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1953. From 1953 to 1956, she served on the staff of the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas as state young people’s secretary, where she met Ivyloy Bishop, former director of national Royal Ambassadors, whom she married in 1955. She soon was named to the faculty at Wayland Baptist College, and then taught journalism and photography 15 years at Plainview High School, developing an award-winning newspaper and yearbook program. She also had a freelance writing career that stretched over five decades, with more than 75 articles included in Baptist publications. She also wrote a biography of longtime WMU leader Eula Mae Henderson, and was author and photographer of the books The Gift and the Giver and The Flame and the Candle. From 1984 to 1988, she was president of the Texas WMU, and in the years that followed, she served on a number of committees of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. In 1989, she received the Texas Baptist Elder Statesman award from the BGCT. In later years, she was a founding member of the Baptist Laity Institute and held positions at both the state and national level of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Austin, where she served as a deacon since 1995. She was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years in 1999. She is survived by her son, Dan; daughter, Judith; and four grandchildren.

W.L. “Wimpy” Smith, 89, in Dallas. He was a former missionary, denominational worker and executive secretary-treasurer of Texas Baptist Men. Smith was born in San Saba. After graduating from Gregory High School, he served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946 in Company D, 273rd Infantry Division. wimpy smith130W.L. “Wimpy” SmithHe graduated from Texas A&I University in Kingsville and later earned his master of divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He worked with the Baptist General Convention of Texas in several capacities—director of the Invincibles program, associate in the Sunday School Department and secretary of the Brotherhood Department at the time it became the Texas Baptist Men missions organization. He taught Bible at East Texas Baptist College, served five years as a Southern Baptist missionary in Argentina, and worked with the Foreign Mission Board as associate for missionary personnel and associate consultant for Laymen Overseas. He later was founding president of a Dallas-based church fund-raising company. He is preceded in his death by his brothers, Joe and Frank Smith; his sister, Barbara Catchings; and his son, Winifred Lee Smith Jr. He is survived by his brother, Marion Smith; his sons, Mark and Roger Smith and their mother, Beverly Smith; his daughters, Jana and Vania Smith, and their mother, Gloria Smith; and four grandchildren.


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