James “Jim” Tatum (1958-2019)

James “Jim” Tatum, age 60, passed away on January 27th. He was surrounded by family at his home in Bishop as he concluded his courageous battle with cancer.

Jim, a lifetime Bishop resident, was an incredible husband, father, brother, and community contributor. His love of the local community was evident in all of his professional and personal endeavors where he always went above and beyond to do for others. His accomplishments were numerous across his career: as a rancher, in his 20-year tenure as the CEO of the Tri-County Fairgrounds, as the Inyo County Deputy Public Works Director, and most recently as the Bishop City Administrator. His generous and make-it-happen spirit could also be seen in his roles as a Bishop Little League and Bishop Union High School Baseball Coach, a member of the local school board, and the beloved “tractor man” at the California High School Rodeo State Finals and other fair arena events. He was also known for his witty and playful sense of humor, optimistic attitude, and that unmistakeable whistle while he walked. His impact on the community will be enduring, but his presence will be sorely missed.

Jim’s loving family will continue to carry forward his memory, values, and commitment to community. They include his wife, Donna Tatum; daughter and son-in-law Kelsie Tatum Martinez and Jaime Martinez; son and future daughter-in-law Keith Tatum and Sara Galligher; brother and sister-in-law Von and Jayne Tatum; brother Lee Tatum; his family in-love, Polly, Larry, and Robert Renfro and Linda Holcomb; and many nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Don and Betty Tatum of Bishop.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Jim on Sunday, February 10th at 1pm at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider making a donation in Jim’s memory to either the Bishop Union High School Jim Tatum Memorial Scholarship (301 North Fowler Street, Bishop, CA 93514) or the Friends of the Tri-County Fair Jim Tatum Memorial Fund (PO Box 607, Bishop, CA 93515).

3 responses

  1. I remember being a Freshman in High School and Jimmy Tatum was the teacher’s aid in a math class. We had so much fun with him. I remember one day I was on my way to class when I saw him in the hallway and asked how my day was going. I would see him around more after that and he always said Hi to me. He spoke to everyone that I remember. I did not know him that well. But I know we are always connected with each other from Bishop High as family. Prayers to Donna, their family and the rest of the Tatum Family.

  2. A true friend to all he met. Sad, but he will always be with us, for he left a little of himself with all of us.

  3. First met Jimmy August 1974 during BUHS football practice. He was a good athlete. Always a winning spirit. Always a friend. Not seen him since June 1977 but remember Jimmy well. He will be missed. I suppose as a rancher, he closed the final gate and headed out to the range.

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