No services are planned for Pat Bishop, confidante, companion and chauffeur to her husband, state Sen Tillie Bishop; avid runner; onetime belly dancer(!) and “a woman to be respected in her own right,” according to family friend Terry Farina.

Born Wyndell La Faye Powers and known later as Pat, Bishop died Saturday. She was 87.

The petite Pat Bishop was married to Tilman “Tillie” Bishop for more than 60 years, and he regularly thanked her during public appearances for her help over a political career that included 34 years in the Legislature, then service on the Mesa County Commission, University of Colorado Board of Regents and Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees.

For many of those years, while Tillie was working the hallways of the state Capitol, Pat was carving out her own career at Central High School, where she taught business education until she retired in 1988.

She was named a Top Teacher and Teacher of the Year for dedicated service to Mesa County Valley School District 51.

To be certain, Pat and Tillie Bishop constituted a team, with Tillie being the half that was more dependent on his partner, Farina said.

Pat, though, was a teacher and had a career of her own “that had nothing to do with Tillie,” Farina said.

When she arrived at Central High School to teach business education, she set about quickly to persuade school officials to replace their manual typewriters with modern electric ones, said a friend, Denise Jouflas-Lipp.

While at Central, she established the Future Business Leaders of America on the Western Slope.

An outgrowth of that was that she accompanied a student on a trip to Philadelphia, where they had breakfast with boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

“She loved teaching,” Jouflas-Lipp said. “She really loved it.”

More recently, Pat Bishop enjoyed being recognized as her own person, laughingly telling friends that she was greeted at a Grand Junction restaurant by a waiter who greeted her as “Mrs. Bishop,” and inquiring as to whether she would have her usual “child’s portion of spaghetti and meatball and a martini,” said another friend, Sally Schaefer.

She preferred her martinis dirty with three olives and was fond of Corona beer, according to an obituary she approved.

Pat recently dispatched Schaefer to her attic to find her old set of castanets.

Turned out that another acquaintance would visit and play violin, offering Pat the opportunity to revisit her youth, when she tried belly dancing, Schaefer said.

“This is the Pat we never knew,” Schaefer said.

She also took great pride in running every day, Schaefer said.

She also enjoyed travel, visiting Europe, Russia and China and she once was tethered to the deck of an aircraft carrier so she could withstand the blast as didn’t get blown away as the jets took off.

Pat Bishop enjoyed telling friends of how the Bishops lost track of their son, Barry, on a trip to Rome when Barry was about 10, said a friend, Suzi Shepherd. The Bishops were frantic and called in police who searched but could find Barry. His parents eventually returned to their hotel, exhausted, to find Barry asleep in the room.

“A friend took him to the hotel and didn’t say a word to Tillie and Pat,” Shepherd said.

Pat Bishop served on several state and local boards and recently her efforts to establish a non-denominational chapel at Colorado Mesa University campus to serve the spiritual needs of students and faculty came to fruition.

Pat Bishop worked for 17 years on the Center for Reflection, said Tim Foster, former CMU president, who noted “how happy she was when we finally got it done.”

Pat Bishop was preceded in death by Tillie in 2019 and by Barry in 2001.

Memorial contributions may be made to HopeWest, 3090 N. 12th St. #B, Grand Junction, 81506 or a charity of the giver’s choice.