On Friday, March 12, 2021, Mary Elizabeth Bishop, 78, of Durham, NC passed away.
Mary Beth was born in Denver, Colorado on January 30, 1943, before growing up in Casper, Wyoming. She attended Colorado College, later going on to receive her Masters in Divinity from Duke University. Mary Beth was ordained through the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church serving a variety of roles in pastoral care, hospital and nursing home support and memorial services. From her earliest years she had a passion for social justice before that phrase became as widely-used as it is now, and she worked determinedly to live her beliefs. After she moved back to Durham, Mary Beth chaired Crop Walk, supported Contact Durham, Crisis Line and went on to work for many years in Human Relations supporting Duke University Public Safety programming and training.
Always a creative spirit, she was a working artist on top of her professional career. She eventually turned her significant talent towards ceramics and studied the art intensively before instituting her own home studio where she taught friends, children and members of her community. She was active in the Durham arts scene and a regular personality at Claymakers. Mary Beth loved to explore the wider world, and her frequent travels to Europe and Asia influenced her pottery resulting in her own uniquely personal style. Some of her works can be viewed on her website at mudarts.com. When she was not traveling or working in her studio, Mary Beth loved to garden. MaryBeth was dedicated to her dogs. Lisi, her Vizsla, kept her hiking, working on nose work, and agility classes. Lisi and Mary Beth had an unbelievable bond. Cody, the 13 year-old male Fox Terrier made sure the others were kept in line. And Ruthie (RGB), the Boston Terrier, started as a foster dog, but remained as a valued energetic member of the pack.
Mary Beth was also a force to be reckoned with. She did not suffer fools gladly, although she always tried to do so graciously. Hers was a strong voice for doing the right thing, supporting those in need and setting a good example. She was a friend to many, always willing to get her hands dirty and to support the causes she supported.
Mary Beth was a loving mother to her son, Steve McNutt, who passed away in 2019. She is survived by her cousin Judith Bowlsby of Casper, Wyoming, sister Susan Bishop of Denver, Colorado, and a large loving community of cousins, friends and artists. Mary Beth will be laid to rest with her son Steve in Casper, Wyoming.
A celebration of life will be held when it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Saving Grace NC.