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James Eugene Bischoff


James E. Bischoff, 81, accomplished artist and architectural designer, passed away peacefully on September 11th, 2021 in San Rafael, CA. He loved his kids, designing with clients, creating art, singing in the choir, making birthday cakes, painting Easter eggs, growing tomatoes and curing olives. He was full of love.


Born in Joliet, IL February 28, 1940, Jim grew up in Chicago, IL and Denver, CO. Jim lived every aspect of his life as an artist, a pursuit inspired and nurtured early on by his mother, also an artist. He often said, “My mom first taught me to paint with watercolors.” He was truly a creative spirit, prolific, enormously talented and dedicated. A lifelong artist, early influences were studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and Denver Art Museum as a child and through his teens, where he developed his interest in design, drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. Throughout the decades, he could be seen with his sketchbook under his arm, and with his box of watercolors. He drew and painted continually (oil, acrylic, watercolors), and had numerous painting shows. Jim was well known for his annual linoleum block print Christmas cards, delivered to family and friends each year.


Jim graduated from Stanford University with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1961, attended Stanford in Germany in his sophomore year, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Stanford in 1962. He received a Fulbright Scholarship and pursued graduate studies at the Athens Technological Institute, Graduate School of Ekistics.


Jim began his architectural career practicing with Doxiadis Associates in Athens, Greece, followed by work with Jorgen Juul Moller — Erik Korshagen in Copenhagen, Denmark, and The Architect’s Collaborative in Cambridge, MA. He then settled with his young family in Tiburon, California in 1965, where he joined the firm of Callister & Payne (Charles Warren Callister & Jack Payne). He became a principal of the firm in 1972 (Callister, Payne & Bischoff) and was joined respectively in the 1980s by partners David Gately and Michael Heckmann (Callister Gately Heckmann & Bischoff).


In 1995, he established James Bischoff Design — Ekistics — Fine Art, with offices in Belvedere and Gualala, CA, and designed many custom houses on the north coast of California.


Widely published, Jim practiced architectural design for nearly fifty years, with work that ranged from community planning, trend-setting restaurants, to the innovative use of wood in commercial and residential structures across the country. Jim received many design awards, and was included in many architectural exhibits.


He also designed and created a multitude of artisanal objects, including architectural metalwork, cast concrete and bronzes (doors, fireplace surrounds, fountains and crosses), wooden furniture and more.


Elected a member of the World Society of Ekistics (the science of human settlements), he was a contributing member to the international W.S.E. community, including published papers in its journal of Ekistics, as well as serving on its Board of Directors.


Jim loved to sing, and sang in choirs since the age of seven. He sang as a tenor in the Stanford choir, and was an active member of the St. Stephen’s Church and choir in Belvedere, CA for over 45 years.


Jim created a life and worked in a profession that he thoroughly enjoyed and lived life to the fullest. Jim was a kind, respectful and humane person. He was a wonderful father who immensely loved and believed in all his kids. Jim was a loving husband, and married and divorced twice (Juliet W. Bischoff and Linda Hulley). He had many wonderful friends and colleagues with whom he so much enjoyed spending time, including his special friend, Christine Helbling. He lived in Southern Marin for 56 years.


Jim showed unyielding courage, strength, resilience and an incredibly positive attitude in the face of the terrible disease that took his life too soon. His passion for life was and will continue to be an inspiration to us all.


Thank you with deepest gratitude to everyone who cared for Jim so lovingly and devotedly during this time.


Jim is predeceased by his parents, Julius Wiley Bischoff and Annalouise Eckhardt Bischoff, and by his brother Charles Wiley Bischoff. He is beloved and greatly missed by his surviving family: his dear sister, Julianna Gilkinson and his beloved children Michael W. Bischoff, Melissa Bischoff, Wende Bischoff Aronson, Colin A. Bischoff, Kara E. Bischoff, cherished grandchildren Barrett W. Bischoff, Zoe E. Pfahler, Casey D. Pfahler, Sydney Bischoff Stillman, Emerson Bischoff Stillman, and treasured in-laws, nieces and nephews.


A Memorial Service will be held on October 30th, 2021 at 11:30am, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 3 Bayview Ave., Belvedere, CA.


Please send Memorial donations to the Alzheimer’s Association at https://www.alz.org. Thank you. Peace.

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