OBITUARY

Geoffrey E Bayliss

July 26, 1943July 13, 2021

Geoffrey passed peacefully in his sleep at his home in Bradenton, Florida on 7/13/2021. Geoff was born to Elaine Huber and Earl Bayliss in Ossowo, Michigan. He grew up sailing, farming, and enjoying Grandma Martha's cooking (whereafter all other meals could only be “almost as good as.”)

After a starting at Michigan State, he opted for the “school of hard knocks.” As a self-taught guy, he devoured books, and constantly learned new words from that enormous “O.E.” by his chair. He was an effective writer, prized brevity, no doubt he would be appalled at the meandering of this piece. After a brief stint in Chicago, he moved to Missoula, Montana (probably chasing those old westerns he loved). He married his first wife, Sharon, and had four daughters.

Geoff tried a little of everything: a lumberjack, reserve deputy, a hospital manager, and an insurance agent. Eventually he found his life’s work as a property manager and real estate broker. Together with his wife Dee, he founded Fidelity Management and built it into a thriving property management company. He moved up in life from sleeping on the floor of his office to better digs, but he was happiest in a little camper, his base for hunting that elusive bull and puttering around on Brown Lake.

Geoff believed in giving back to the community. After seeing kids without what they needed for cold Montana winters, he founded a charity which gifted coats to kids. He was a 32nd degree Mason and froze every year with his fellow Lions selling Christmas trees at the fairgrounds.

He loved sailing and any kind of boat, the more outsized the better, and even joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary (though it may have been about the hat). He loved the Lord, green pines, open skies, hot tubs, embarrassing jokes, hash-browns (extra crispy), and sharing brandy and bud by the campfire. He hated technology, flat dry hamburgers and cats... and oh God, he loved Dee.

Geoff swept Dee Singleton out of her little hometown to “big city” life in Missoula where they raised 6 kids together. No one doubted Dee was his everything. A day didn’t pass without her finding his keys and him wondering (openly) why she married him. They hung tight through the happiness, tragic loss, and all the trials their 31 years together whirled into their sails. He loved her so much he even tolerated getting a cat, with whom he shared several personality traits: independence, mischievousness, and a dislike of cats.

After retiring, they handed the reigns to their good friends Travis and Maritza Tish and bolted south. Together with their corgis they built a happy, post-retirement life in Sarasota. For five sun-soaked years they learned to be cold in 68° weather and opened their home to frozen northerners.

He is survived by his children: Danica Bayliss (Levi Hinton), Beau Bayliss (Thompson Zollars), Adam Bayliss (Chad Johll), Elizabeth Weber, and Aliyah Bayliss, his grandchildren: Kale, Kira, Marley, Taelor, Aspen, Jaxon, Tyler, Camden, and Caleb, and his great granddaughter Kali (his affections for whom made all of the above jealous -- though her cuteness is inarguable). His family in Michigan includes his sisters: Linna (Tom) Earle, Sally Weaver, and Jody (Jeff) Nashatka, his nieces: Jamie McIntyre, Heather Wright, Stacey Staudacher and Ashley Earle (supposedly his filter for inappropriate jokes - more appropriately called his collaborator), his nephew: James Geoffrey Gross and special friend: Tom DePottey. He also leaves behind his good friends and border-running traveling companions: Dean and Sandy Klingler, his former wife and friend Sharon Bayliss, and his good friends Ken Cyr and Dave Rodli.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and nephew Brent LaFromboise. Also passed: his wife Dee (Singleton) Bayliss and daughter Rebecca Oliver, who are on that tall ship he's captaining, with his pipe in one hand and wheel in the other, assisted by his first mate Yogi, the cranky corgi. Bon Voyage Captain Geoff, you old coot!

A memorial will be held on December 4th in Bay City, MI. In lieu of flowers, feel free to donate to the Montana Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation or to help pay for this long-winded obituary.

  • FAMILY

  • Danica Bayliss (Levi Hinton), Child
  • Beau Bayliss (Thompson Zollars), Child
  • Adam Bayliss (Chad Johll), Child
  • Elizabeth Weber, Child
  • Aliyah Bayliss, Child
  • Kale, Grandchild
  • Kira, Grandchild
  • Marley, Grandchild
  • Taelor, Grandchild
  • Aspen, Grandchild
  • Jaxon, Grandchild
  • Tyler, Grandchild
  • Camden, Grandchild
  • Caleb, Grandchild
  • Kali, Great Grandchild
  • Linna Earle (Tom), Sibling
  • Sally Weaver, Sibling
  • Jody Nashatka (Jeff), Sibling
  • Jamie McIntyre, Niece
  • Heather Wright, Niece
  • Stacey Staudacher, Niece
  • Ashley Earle, Niece
  • James Geoffrey Gross, Nephew
  • Tom DePottey, Special Friend
  • Dean Klingler, Good Friend
  • Sandy Klingler, Good Friend
  • Ken Cyr, Good Friend
  • Dave Rodli, Good Friend
  • Sharon Bayliss, Former Wife and Friend
  • Elaine Huber, Mother (deceased)
  • Earl Bayliss, Father (deceased)
  • Brent LaFromboise, Nephew (deceased)
  • Dee (Singleton) Bayliss, Wife (deceased)
  • Rebecca Oliver, Daughter (deceased)

Services

4 December

Memorial Service

 

Memories

Geoffrey E Bayliss

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Ashley Earle

July 29, 2021

Ashley Earle

July 29, 2021

Ashley Earle

July 29, 2021

Ashley Earle

July 29, 2021

Ashley Earle

July 29, 2021

Ashley Earle

July 29, 2021

Danica Bayliss

July 27, 2021

He continued to play to his last days! We had some cutthroat games! He was never one to just let us win. We had to work for it. It has behooved us.

Danica Bayliss

July 27, 2021

Doing what he loved, last September, on Lake Mary Ronan. We spent a lot of time up there. I have continued that tradition. It’s a happy place. I even learned to play pool, by him, on that old table.

Danica Bayliss

July 27, 2021

Cleaning the only fish he/we caught at Lake Mary Ronan last summer. I’m glad he got a final catch!

Danica Bayliss

July 27, 2021

Lovin’ up some Kali, in Clearwater, MT. 🥰

FROM THE FAMILY