The Coast News Group

Beloved Oceanside leader Melba Bishop dies

OCEANSIDE — A memorial service was held for former councilwoman and community leader Melba Bishop on Jan. 16.

Bishop served on Oceanside City Council from 1980 to 1984, and again from 1990 to 1992. Her achievements include seeing that the railroad switch was moved outside of downtown, and a bridge overpass was funded and built over the San Luis Rey River to accommodate College Boulevard traffic.

She is widely known for championing rent control regulations that protect mobile home owners who rent permanent spaces for their homes.

“She was very active in the community,” Mayor Jim Wood said. “She listened to neighborhoods, and was involved in changing the image of Oceanside.”

Bishop continued to be politically active after she left office. Wood said she ran all of his campaigns for mayor, and was the go-to person for questions on local issues and grassroots campaigning.

“She had a lot of knowledge about the office and the grassroots approach to running a campaign,” Wood said. “Anyone who wanted to run for political office came to her for political advice.”

Her legacy is serving as an unwavering representative of the people. Melba Bishop Park and Recreation Center were named in her honor in 2003.

She touched many people’s lives. Family and friends describe her on Facebook as strong, smart and caring.

“Your community will begin discussing the many things you did for Oceanside, but to me you will forever be the best grandma I could have ever asked for,” her granddaughter Tori Lynn wrote.

Bishop was born in Hemet in 1942, and raised in Riverside. She married marine Lucky Bishop and moved to Oceanside in the 1960s.

Bishop died on Jan. 9 after a long battle with cancer. She was 72 and leaves behind her husband Lucky, four sons, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.