Joseph August Bay December 16, 1922 - September 8, 2020
Joseph A. Bay passed peacefully away on September 8, leaving behind many broken hearts. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut on December 16, 1922, to Joseph and Josephine Bay, and grew up in Simsbury, CT.
Joe would say that his best and most important achievement was catching the girl of his dreams and life partner, Ruth. His life really began the day he asked that lovely Michigan State coed where he could find a piano to play on campus, where he was briefly stationed in 1942. They heard Beethoven’s Sixth that day, which remained his favorite piece of music because of it. After the war, he came home to Connecticut and began a 72 year marriage in 1945, raising three kids and accomplishing a successful career in finance before retiring to his beloved Cape. Never one to do nothing, retirement was an energetic, productive affair. A generous volunteer, he supported many needy causes by donating his knowledge of the financial world. As well, he was awarded the 2013 Elder Services Volunteer of the Year in recognition of 20 years of deliveries of Meals on Wheels.
He was a complicated, intelligent, quiet, multi-faceted man; an accomplished pianist who had a Steinway concert grand, a master gardener, known as ‘the Dahlia King’, who shared flowers with just about everybody in his travels, and owner of a mile-wide sentimental side. He enjoyed perfecting the role of curmudgeon and was a deeply religious man.
And he had his quirks: his eternal love for RW, the cat from hell, who stole and kept Joe’s cat-loving heart the minute he strolled into the house from parts unknown, an overwhelming love of chocolate chip cookies, the vast collection of weather gauges, the “ruthless” joke, and there was that 30 year war against the squirrels who dared to rob his 15 bird feeders. His dry sense of humor was a big part of him. He had a decades-long contest with his daughter to see who had the first tomato in the garden and one year shamelessly tied one on his plant to win a free lunch at Kreme and Kone.
Most of all, he was a good man who instilled in his children a love of nature, a staunch moral code, and an appreciation for life’s truly important things. His strength and ability to overcome the setbacks inspired all who knew him. As a widower he lived independently till he was well past 97, an astonishing feat. Sadly, he didn’t reach the 110 years that many expected. He will be missed.
He is survived by his daughter Susan Lovering of Johnson, Vermont, daughter-in-law Angela Bay of South Hadley, Massachusetts, and son John Bay and his wife Suzy of Minot, Maine, his grandchildren, Erin Marquez and her husband Jeremy, Heather Bay, and Karina Bay. His great-granddaughter, Chloe Marquez, had a very special place in Joe’s heart and a Joe-endowed nickname of Chloe-Joey. His son Lawrence Bay predeceased him.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of the Cape Church in Brewster Tues. Sept. 15 at 11:00 am. With a burial to follow at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in South Dennis.
Memorial donations may be made to Meals on Wheels C/O Elder Services, 68 Rte. 134 S. Dennis Ma. 02660