Kenneth Bays

Obituary of Kenneth Ray Bays

Kenneth Ray Bays, 78, passed away Saturday, December 28, 2019. Ken was born in 1941 in Stillwater, Oklahoma to Earl and Nellie Bays. A few years later, the family relocated to Kelso, Washington and eventually settled in Woodland, Washington. He is a 1959 graduate of Woodland High School, where he lettered in baseball, football & basketball. He was also very active in FFA, FFA Chorus, and 4-H, and was also chosen as the Outstanding Boy of his Senior Class. His baseball team won the Trico State Championship in 1958 and he was later inducted into the Woodland High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Following high school graduation, he served in the United States Army, then attended Clark Community College in Vancouver, Washington, where he continued playing baseball & received his AA. He then attended Lewis and Clark College, where he pitched a 9-1 season, with an ERA of 0.94 and was voted MVP & Team Captain in 1962. In 1963, Ken had the lowest ERA of any pitcher at any NAIA college in the nation. He received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Lewis and Clark College and his MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California. He married Sandra Dehning in 1963. He later married ReginaDee Jan in 1973, and the couple had three children, Sara, Lisa & Ryan. Ken had a lifelong career in public service, serving in leadership positions in several cities in Washington state including City Clerk Treasurer in Woodland, City Manager in Othello, and City Clerk in Richland. He was an active member of the community, including serving in the Lion’s Club and as a member of Columbia Community Church in Richland, Washington. He was an active member of HAPO Community Credit Union in Richland for over 20 years, including serving on the Board of Directors and holding the position of Secretary. In 2002, he started a new chapter in his life when he met Darlene Gamble. He moved to Texas in 2004, and they married shortly after. Ken loved staying active and busy so his career in public service continued as he served as City Administrator in Goliad, and Morgan’s Point, and Interim City Administrator in Anahauc, Texas. Ken was a dedicated family man who was actively involved in the lives of his children and grandchildren. He rarely missed a grandchild’s school performance, recital or athletic event including planning frequent trips back to the Northwest to attend events there as well. During the Christmas season, Ken and Darlene could be found playing Santa and Mrs. Claus at various events, which is something Ken greatly enjoyed. Ken filled his days with a love of baseball games and keeping up with politics. He had a contagious smile and was quick to share a story or a joke. He is preceded in death by his parents Earl and Nellie Bays; an infant daughter Lisa Bays and a sister Dortha Tanner. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Darlene Bays of Deer Park; daughters Sara Swentik and husband Matt of Salem, Oregon, Tammy Dowdy and husband Kent of League City, Taryn Netek and husband Jason of Deer Park and Tiffany Neal and husband Jonathan of Deer Park; son Ryan Bays and fiancée Jessica Noble of Kennewick, Washington, Tim Gamble and wife Stacy of La Porte and Kyle Gamble of League City; grandchildren, Jaidyn Swentik, Madilyn Swentik, Alexandria Bays, Emily Dowdy, Greyson Netek, Zane Netek, Owen Netek, Colton Neal, Cooper Neal, Chloe Gamble, Natalie Gamble and Trey Hazel; sister Mona Godel of Woodland, Washington; brothers Bob Bays and wife Marilyn of Vancouver, Washington and Jim Bays and wife Sharlene of Woodland, Washington. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and extended family. A public visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, January 3 at Clayton Funeral Home in La Porte, Texas. A Celebration of Life Memorial service will be held on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Woodland Christian Church, 430 Buckeye St, Woodland, WA 98674. All are welcome to a reception following the service. Private burial at Frank Abel Cemetery. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to: Woodland Public Schools Attn: Scholarship Trust Fund 800 2nd St. Woodland, WA 98674 Wounded Warrior Project


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, January 3, 2020
Clayton Funeral Home La Porte
201 South 3rd Street
La Porte, Texas, United States
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