Mary Ann Bays

July 10, 1933March 11, 2018
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Mary Ann Bays went to be with our Father in Heaven on Sunday March 11, 2018 at the age of 84. Born at home July 10, 1933 in Vanita, OK she had a happy childhood with loving parents Karl (Jack) Dewey Schwartz and Esther Rose (Walz) Schwartz. She had five brothers Aurthur Schwartz, Melvin Schwartz, Merle Schwartz, Thomas Schwartz, Frank Schwartz, and three sisters Emojean (Schwartz) Jackson, Sandy (Schwartz) Hoover and Sunny (Schwartz) Smith. Mary Ann liked to ride her horse named Fanny and attended a one room school house for eight years, then attended and graduated from a Catholic high school. As a teenager and young adult she worked in the McClellan's dime store and, as a candy lover, enjoyed working the candy counter the best. At the age of 18 she met Lewis Valmer Bays and the forever sweethearts were married on 6/22/53. Together they raised six children and lost one as a stillborn. She had an in home daycare for more than 20 years and raised many other babies and children that as adults still came to visit her. She courageously and stubbornly fought kidney and heart failure for more than a decade with the help of Dr. Eric Baker and his nurse Lisa and with the constant loving care of her equally stubborn husband Valmer.

Having almost reached her 65th wedding anniversary, Mary Ann passed to the Lord at home with loving family surrounding her. Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents, two of her daughters Valerie Ann Bays, Dana Rose Bays, four brothers and one sister. She leaves behind many friends and is survived by family including her husband Lewis Valmer Bays, sons Mark Bays, Donald Bays, Martin Bays (Teresa Bradley Bays), and Karl Bays, and daughter Teresa Cable, brother Thomas Schwartz and sisters Sandy Hoover and Sunny Smith. Also sending her off are 17 grandchildren and 6 great grand children.

Mary Ann thanks for being a great Mom and a patient and loving wife.

Visitation will be at Saint Sabina Catholic Church, 700 Trevis, Belton, MO on Friday, March 16 from 10 AM to 11 AM followed by a service at 11 AM. Internment will be in the Belton Cemetery.

In Lieu of flowers please send donations to Saint Sabina Catholic Church or Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care 1500 Meadow Lake Pkwy, Ste 200 Kansas City, MO 64114 Funeral arrangements by McGilley & George Funeral Home, Belton, MO (816-966-0250) Condolences to the family may be left at


  • Visitation Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, March 16, 2018

Mary Ann Bays

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Fred Bays

March 30, 2018

So sorry to just hear of Mary Ann's passing. The Virginia Bays family so enjoyed having her at several of our August reunions. God bless and keep the family. A fine soul.

Larry Bays

March 15, 2018

Bays favorite memories of Mary Ann were the family reunions at Canton Lake that occurred most of my life, and which I miss terribly. She was always a worker, a happy and smiling, and pleasant person to be around at all times (as well as a great cook). Mary Ann took care of her family, supervised, loved and cared for them no matter what crisis might arise. She was always there for family, and well as my immediate family, and we all enjoyed her throughly with her presence, whether visiting around the campground, or eating a pot luck meal. She was so organized it amazed me...lots of family to take care of 24 hours a day. I have missed her, Valmer and all of their family for the past 10 years at the reunions at Canton and elsewhere, but I understand the fight she was having with her health that prevented her family from attending. Unfortunately, time marches on and all of the Bays family lives have changed, including Valmer and Mary Ann. We have been blessed as such a family. and I am certain she is smiling in Heaven as she did on earth...

Michelle Cummings

March 14, 2018

Mary Ann was my son's first babysitter. I could not have picked a better person for my baby to spend his days with while I was at work. What a warm, loving and special team she and Valmer made. (As I recall, Chris was ususally on Valmer's lap when I arrived each afternoon to pick him up). They were not just babysitters, they were another set of grandparents to each child they looked after. I will forever thank them for the significant influence they had on his early years.

June (LaGore) Guevel

March 13, 2018

Thoughts and prayers to Mary Ann's family. She was a very special lady and I was blessed to have known her for the years that I did and to call her a friend. She was a wonderful caregiver for all three of my children when they were infants, I could not have asked for a better person. I know she will be deeply missed and she will always hold a special place in the hearts of those that she touched during her lifetime.


Forever In Our Hearts!


Wedding days


Mom with Dana


60th wedding anniversary


Mom and Dad with teenagers


Pretty in pink


To Mary Ann Bays, the entire world was a stage. An expressive, optimistic, and uninhibited individual, she was a performer in the theater of life. To everyone around her, she seemed to be eternally happy, and she willingly shared that joy with anyone whose life she touched. For Mary Ann, bringing out the best in any situation was as easy as offering a smile, a witty remark or the twinkle of an eye. And with just those simple gestures, she could evoke the most pleasant of emotions. Mary Ann really mastered the art of living and had great fun in doing so.

      Mary Ann was born on July 10, 1933 at her parents home in Vinita, Oklahoma. Her parents were Karl and Esther (Walz) Swartz. Mary Ann was raised in Vinita. Even as a child, Mary Ann had the ability to lift the spirits of all those around her. She was raised to be warm, caring and friendly. She couldn’t help but capture everyone’s attention. She was definitely a little bit of a show off, but in doing so, she succeeded in entertaining her entire family.

      Always a good playmate, Mary Ann was easygoing and fun loving. She managed to lighten the mood wherever she was, even during family squabbles. She seemed to have a knack for bringing compromise and erasing tense situations around the house. Due to a generous dose of common sense, Mary Ann managed to find a satisfying solution to basic problems. Mary Ann was raised with 5 brothers; Aurthur, Melvin, Merle, Thomas & Frank and 3 sisters; Emojean, Sandy, & Sunny.

      All of Mary Ann's playful good humor carried over into her childhood. She was possessed with an outgoing personality, a lively imagination and a mellowed enthusiasm for life that allowed her to be constantly on the go. As a result, Mary Ann experienced a rather active childhood, and this suited her very well. Growing up Mary Ann was a tomboy. She enjoyed activities that involved being outdoors and exploring nature. In her spare time she liked to ride her horse, Fanny. Mary Ann also liked doing puzzles and playing card games, fun activities that she would enjoy all her life.

      Ask anyone who knew her from school and they would tell you that Mary Ann was a class “cut-up.” She didn’t do it to be unkind or to garner all the attention. Rather, Mary Ann simply enjoyed others’ laughter and the sounds of her friends and acquaintances having a good time. It could be said that for Mary Ann, grades may not have been the most important thing to her, but she really did enjoy her school experience. Since experience was Mary Ann's best teacher. She enjoyed hands-on learning and applying the “practical” approach to knowledge, rather than getting caught up in “theory.” Mary Ann attended a one room school house for 12 years and had to walk 5 miles to get there everyday. Mary Ann graduated in 1950 from Holy Ghost Catholic High School in Vinita. She enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. Her favorite class in high school was math.

      Mary Ann never actually encountered a stranger in her dealings with people. She was drawn to individuals and crowds, using her adaptable and outgoing personality to captivate her audience. This quality allowed Mary Ann to continually develop new relationships, ever widening her circle of friends. Mary Ann utilized her interest in others as a great way to connect with them. While growing up, some of her best friends were Francis Flint, Mary Ann Willey and Bonnie Patterson. Later in life, she remained friends with Francis Flint. Mary Ann loved sharing life and having her home filled with people she knew.

      At age 18, Mary Ann met and fell in love with Valmer. On June 22, 1953 Mary Ann exchanged wedding vows with Valmer Lewis Bays at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Vinita, Oklahoma. She tried hard not to impose on her spouse. She was always sensitive to other people’s feelings, and that was especially true in marriage. The happy couple eventually relocated to Belton, Missouri in 1973 where they made a home and a life there.

      Perhaps the reason Mary Ann related so well to children was the fact that she never really completely grew up herself. The ability to be just a “kid at heart” helped her in raising her own children. Mary Ann was blessed with 7 children; 4 boys, Mark, Donald, Martin & Karl and 3 daughters, Teresa, Dana (Decd.) & a still born baby girl, Valerie. Mary Ann had the ability to focus her attention on the present moment. If she was spending time with the kids, that’s where all of her attention was directed. Mary Ann's compassionate side prevented her from being a strict disciplinarian, and she could turn just about any situation into a playful, learning experience. She could spend hours entertaining them with fun and creative play. In fact, Mary Ann had a knack for turning some of those nasty old chores into games.

      At work, as in life, Mary Ann was a real “people person.” She had a very successful way of dealing effectively with others, and her enthusiasm and energy was often contagious. Mary Ann's talent for being a down to earth thinker, allowed many around her to see Mary Ann as an excellent problem solver. Her primary occupation was as a home daycare provider. She happily cared for Belton area children for more than 20 years. Accolades of her loving care and recommendations from satisfied parents, kept her in business without advertising and always with waiting list. In addition, Mary Ann loved being a wife, mother and homemaker. In her teen years and as a young adult, Mary Ann worked at the local Vinita, OK dime store McClennan's. She loved candy and enjoyed working the candy counter best!

      Mary Ann enjoyed her leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. An “arts and crafts” type, Mary Ann liked creating and making things. Her favorite pursuits were working puzzles, shopping and playing card games. Her favorites were Solitaire, Uno and Skip Bo. Mary Ann was content to enjoy her hobbies alone but was also willing to share her interests with others. Mary Ann enjoyed traveling to family reunions in Oklahoma, camping and visiting cemetery's. A favorite vacation was to the state of Virginia.
      Vested with a deep concern for spiritual development, Mary Ann recognized that her faith was important to her throughout her life. She was a member of St. Sabina Catholic Church in Belton, Missouri for 45 years.

      Mary Ann was a lover of animals and cherished her pets, enjoying them almost as much as she enjoyed being around other people. One of Mary Ann's favorites was a dog, Trixie. They were best friends for 14 years. Growing up Mary Ann was surrounded by ducks, geese, pheasants and chickens that she considered pets.

      Mary Ann believed that you had to experience life, and her life in retirement was no different. When that day finally arrived in 2005, Mary Ann took it in stride as one more way to have fun. Her new life involved having more time to shop, play cards, enjoy weekly restaurant meals and visits with family & friends. With her boundless energy and a desire to get the most out of life, Mary Ann remained busy with people and projects. Even in retirement, Mary Ann continued to stay in touch with her old friends and, since she'd never met a stranger, she made plenty of new acquaintances as well.

      Mary Ann passed away on March 11, 2018 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She had courageously and stubbornly fought kidney failure and congestive heart failure for more that a decade. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Valmer; son's Mark , Donald, Martin (Teresa Bradley Bays), Karl; daughter, Teresa Cable. Services were held at St. Sabina Catholic Church. Mary Ann was laid to rest in The Belton Cemetery.

      Mary Ann brought joy to all of those around her. She never had a mean bone in her body. She loved to have a good time and was an eternal optimist, always looking on the bright side of things. She loved to share her energy, wit, and her zest for all of her activities with her friends and family. Mary Ann Bays lived life to its fullest and made everyone around her happier just for knowing her. She will be remembered with a smile.