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D. Keith Bishop January 15, 1953 - July 14, 2022

Keith Bishop

Dennis “Keith” Bishop was a caring and hard working father, husband, scientist, and friend. He touched the lives of many with his kindness and wonderful sense of humor. After a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and Dementia, Keith passed away peacefully on July 14th, 2022 at age 69.

Keith was born on January 15, 1953, in Dallas, Texas. He was the third of three children born to James and Mary Bishop. As a child his family relocated to Rosenberg, Texas, where he lived until his early twenties.

In March, 1975, Keith joined the Navy and after bootcamp went to Navy Corpsman school in San Diego, where he graduated first in his class. Upon graduation he was assigned to the hospital at Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, California. In the Spring of 1976, he met his future wife, Mary, a Marine. When not working, they spent time camping and hiking in the desert, and traveling around southern California.

Keith was discharged from the Navy in Spring of 1978, and enrolled in the microbiology program at Boise State University. Mary followed and moved to Boise in Fall of 1978. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, and Fall, 1982, began his graduate work at Washington State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Immunology in 1986. He then accepted a post-doctoral research position in the Department of Surgery , Division of Transplantation, at Ohio State University.  After three years, he was offered a research faculty position in the CardiacTransplant Program at University of Utah.

In June, 1991, Keith and Mary were blessed with the arrival of their son, Jason. Emily made their family complete when she was born in August, 1995.

In 1994, University of Michigan, Department of Surgery, recruited him to join the faculty. He had a joint appointment in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and from 2001-2012, was the Director of the Graduate Program in Immunology. In 2004 he was promoted to full Professor with tenure. He served 11 years on scientific review panels for the National Institutes of Health. Over the course of his career, he published several hundred scientific articles, reviews, book chapters, and was awarded over three million dollars in grants.

In 1996, he was awarded “Alumni of the Year” at Boise State University.

Keith retired December 2014, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Despite all his achievements, Keith remained the boy from Texas with humble roots. After retirement, Keith and Mary moved back to Boise, Idaho to be close to family and return to their undergraduate roots.

Throughout his life, Keith enjoyed running, backpacking, fishing, skiing, camping, and spending time with family. His favorite things were music, animals, ice cream, fried chicken legs, and a good beverage. Keith loved being a dad and husband, and will be forever missed.

Keith is survived by his brother Jim, wife Mary, and two children: Jason and Emily. Keith will rest in heaven with his parents, and sister Janie.

A memorial service will be scheduled to celebrate Keith’s life. Please contact sawtooth2015@gmail.com for details.

Donations can be made to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation or the Idaho Alzheimer’s Association.

Arrangements are under the direction of Bowman Funeral Parlor of Garden City.

A memorial service will be scheduled to celebrate Keith’s life. Please contact sawtooth2015@gmail.com for details.

Condolences(8)

  1. REPLY
    DJ Hoffman says

    Keith was one of my lifelong friends. We struggled through our high school years together and after we graduated I was selected to go into the military. I found out several years later he was a fellow veteran. I haven’t had many real friends over the years but Keith was definitely one of my real friends. I will miss him!

    • REPLY
      Mary Bishop says

      Dear DJ, even before I met you, Keith talked about you often. You were the inspiration to join the Navy during a time when it wasn’t popular. That was his launch point. It provided a pathway into the medical/scientific world. I hoped for a reunion of the “gang,” but the disease beat us to it. Thank you for your friendship and staying in touch while he was not well.

  2. REPLY
    Allen Matej says

    Keith was an inspiration to those that knew him. As fine a man as I ever knew and I am a better person for having know him. I have nothing but admiration and respect. I salute you old friend!

    • REPLY
      Mary Bishop says

      Allen, you and Keith were like brothers. So many memories. Thank you for your heartfelt note. I know part of Keith’s fondest memories were when you guys surfed at Surfside beach. I plan to go back there in his memory. Love you

  3. REPLY
    Bettinger’s says

    Dear Mary, Jason and Emily,

    Our sincerest condolences on the loss of your beloved husband and dad. Keith was such a cool and kind guy. We are praying for your family during this very difficult time.

    Hugs and Love, Joe, Beth, James, Marissa and Jen

    • REPLY
      Mary Bishop says

      Thank you Joe and Beth. It’s been a rough few years. I’m sure you understand the pain associated with dementia. We are planning a memorial service sometime in the fall. Trying to nail down a date. If you are able, I’d love to share Keith’s life story. Love you guys.

  4. REPLY
    Keri Csencsits Smith says

    Dear Mary, Jason, and Emily,

    I was so saddened to hear of Keith’s passing. It was my utmost privilege to train as a postdoc in his lab at U Mich. He was a great scientist and mentor, but more importantly, he was a great man. His kindness and generosity to me and to Chris was greatly appreciated and made getting through some tough times a little easier. In the academic world where so many people can get tough and mean, Keith never did. I am so grateful to have the experience of working with him and the rest of his lab community.

    You and Jason and Emie are in my heart – peace and strength to you all.

    • REPLY
      Mary Bishop says

      Keri, Thank you for your heartfelt note. Not only were you a successful scientist, but you were a friend to Keith. These past few years were difficult watching such a great mind succumb to that horrible disease. You know him well enough to know he wasn’t a quitter. The disease won. I am hoping you will be able to come to his memorial on January 15th, 2023, which would have been his 70th birthday. It would be great to see you and reminisce. I apologize for the late reply, I have been having troubles with the website. Thank you again for being part of the “Bishop Lab.”

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Donations can be made to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation or the Idaho Alzheimer’s Association.