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Shelbyville community loses another influential citizen

With news of the death of longtime Shelbyville businessman Dick Bishopp Wednesday, the month of January continues to cast a dark cloud over the city.

Bishopp’s Appliances has been a stalwart of Shelbyville since its opening in 1947. The business has solidified itself both within Shelby County and abroad through its downtown location on the Public Square. A second Bishopp’s Appliances is located in Columbus, Indiana.

“It’s a tough loss,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun Thursday morning. “We have counted on the Bishopp family and the Cassidy family for a lot of years in the community ... being involved in the foundation ... being involved in the sister city relationship. Quite honestly, I went to Dick a number of times just to ask him his opinion on things. He was a good sounding board. And he had a lot of institutional knowledge about the community and the city is going to miss him.”

Dick and his wife, Becky, were very involved in the community through civic projects and philanthropy. He recently had heart surgery at the age of 81 and was recovering well before his untimely passing.

“I think one of the hardest hit groups is going to be the Chaperral Cafe because they lost Joe Moheban last week and Dick this week,” laughed DeBaun. “As funny as that sounds, there is something to be said of that group of people who have that much knowledge about our community and we’re starting to lose them.”

Moheban died on Jan. 3 at the age of 87. Originally from Meshad, Iran, he came to the United States in 1951 and graduated from Kansas State Teachers College in three years and received his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1959.

Dr. Moheban opened his family practice in Shelbyville in 1960 and delivered over 2,500 babies in the community. He retired in 2004.

Terry Riggs died on Tuesday at the age of 65. He was the owner of Indiana Underground Construction, a utility company. The 1971 Shelbyville High School graduate operated several other successful businesses and was a well-respected USAC race car owner.

“I had a unique relationship with Terry,” said DeBaun. “I worked for him in college. My summer jobs in college were burying telephone cables and working with utility infrastructure with Terry.

“If you went to a rotary auction, he was a big supporter and big donor. He was active within the community and it’s another loss. It’s tough to see those people pass way to soon.”

Riggs’ obituary appears in today’s edition. Bishopp’s funeral information also appears in today’s newspaper. A full obituary was not yet available as of press deadline Thursday.

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