2005-12-01 / Obituaries

Helen Bay, 98

Helen (Whitmarsh) Bay, 98, of Blenheim Newport nursing home in Middletown died Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005.

Fondly known to her family as “Gamma Gamma” or “Gigi”, her zest for life, concern for others, and service to numerous volunteer organizations was remarkable. She traveled worldwide and also lived in Glenview, Ill., and Tucson, Ariz.

In 1930, she married the late Maturin Ballou Bay, a Navy World War II veteran and manager of Prudential’s insurance agencies in Chicago.

Born in Omaha, Neb., on Aug. 9, 1907, she was the daughter of the late Laurance B. and Eleanor (King) Whitmarsh.

At Morgan Park High School, Chicago, Ill., she founded the honor society, was elected editor of the yearbook, was chairman of the senior prom, and was voted the best-liked and most-popular. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 1929, where she lettered in baseball and was active in drama and theater. In Illinois, she founded three PTAs, a chapter of AFS, and she was president of the Englewood Women’s Club and the Glenview Garden Club.

She and her husband were active boaters and she passed her Power Squadron test with the highest score ever for a woman up to that time. At the Casas Adobes Congregational Church in Tucson, she was president of the Women’s Fellowship and chairman of the Board of Religious Affairs. She was also a trustee and president of the Auxillary of the Fan Kane Foundation for Brain-Injured Children and developed the Tree of Life Sculpture for fund-raising. She was sheriff of the Santa Catalina Corral, a popular social organization. More recently, she was chairman of the Blenheim Hospitality Committee, and coeditor of the View from the Bridge, the residents monthly newsletter. She was also active and beloved in the United Congregational Church and had a special place in her heart for the choir and the music programs of the church.

She is survived by a son, Gerald Ballou Bay and his wife Gale Washay Bay of Jamestown, R.I.; two granddaughters, Kathy Bay Morris of Lynchburg, Va., and Heather Ballou Bay of Plainfield, Ill.; three great grandchildren, Sydney, Kirby, and Kasey Morris, all of Lynchburg, Va.; three stepgrandchildren, Audra Prochko, Jill Nicolson, and Travis Washay; six stepgreatgrandchildren, Hunter, Sierra, Brett, Halifax, Acadia, and Kirsten; and a daughter-in-law Marcia Romsted Bay of Lynchburg, Va. She was also the mother of the late Kirby Whitmarsh Bay and sister of the late Laurance Whitmarsh Jr.

Helen taught us how to live life with sparkle, how to care for others less fortunate and how to die with dignity, peace and love. She will be sorely missed.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec.3, at 2 p.m. in the United Congregational Church, 524 Valley Rd., Middletown.

Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to the United Congregational Church Music Fund, 524 Valley Rd., Middletown, RI 02842, or to the charity of one’s choice.

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