James Hope Bissland III, 83, loving husband of 61 years with four children and four grandchildren passed away October 14, 2020. He was a well-known author on Shaker and American history, and a professor of mass communications for 20 years at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH.
Bissland was most proud of his family. He and his wife, Joan Bemis Bissland, raised four children, Sarah (Frank) Breithaupt of Naperville, IL; Betsy Hope of Hamilton, OH; and Andrew (Linda Keyes) of Castle Rock, CO. A fourth child, Daniel “Dan” Bissland preceded him in death at the age of 37, as did his parents James Hope Bissland Jr. and Elsie Christie Bissland. He was born in Springfield, MA. His grandchildren are Matthew and Nathan Breithaupt, and Wesley and Emily Dockery.
A New Englander who lived in Ohio since 1976, Bissland spent most of his lifetime reading and researching American history. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Cornell University and a master’s in American history from the University of Massachusetts. He received a Ph.D. in mass communication studies from the University of Iowa.
Bissland is the author or editor of a number of books, including “Blood, Tears, and Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War,” “Bountiful Ohio: Good Food and Stories from Where the Heartland Begins” and Long River Winding: Life, Love, and Death Along the Connecticut.” He was also a publisher with his own Gabriel’s Horn Publishing Co., Inc. from 1981-1994 in Bowling Green, OH.
His journalism career began as a reporter and/or copy editor with the Burlington Free Press, VT; Providence Journal, RI; and Worchester Telegram, MA. Bissland also worked for Rhode Island College first as public information officer, then director of publications.
In his academic career, Bissland worked as an instructor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. From 1976-1996, he taught journalism at BGSU, was chair of Journalism and interim director of the School of MassComm.
In his retirement, Bissland volunteered as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem for Wood County Juvenile Court, OH.
A graveside service will be held on Friday October 23, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at Oak Grove Cemetery in Bowling Green. An outdoor reception will immediately follow. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Dunn Funeral Home in Bowling Green.
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.dunnfuneralhome.com