He was born on July 2, 1925, in Parsons to Roy and Alma (Adams) Bayless. He had just celebrated his 86th birthday.
Junior worked for the city of Parsons Water Department after high school. He left there to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. On Nov. 8, 1946, he married Wilda Mae O’Connor, who also worked for the Water Department.
In August 1950, the 930th Ordnance Company was called to active duty, and he served in Korea until November 1951, at which time he was discharged from the military. He returned to work at the city Water Department until 1961. At that time, he began working for the U.S. Post Office as a clerk and later as a letter carrier, until retiring in February 1983.
Junior enjoyed having coffee on Monday mornings with his VFW buddies and also with some other buddies in the afternoons at McDonald’s. He always loved to tease and joke with his family and their friends. Whenever there was a problem with one of the kids’ homes or vehicles, he was the one to make the repairs; and up until a couple of years ago, mowed his yard and the girls’ yards.
He was a member of First Christian Church in Parsons and a life member of Brown-Bishop Post No. 704, Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he had served on the Honor Guard.
Survivors include his wife, Wilda Mae Bayless, of the home in Parsons; four children, Maribeth Long of Parsons, Marsha Bayless of Parsons, Patty Bayless of Miami, Okla., and Brad Bayless of Parsons; two grandsons, Ryan Long and his wife, Kristin, of Kansas City, Mo., and Alex Bayless of Parsons; a granddaughter, Jamie Bayless of Parsons; two sisters-in-law, Mayellen Bayless of Parsons and Louise Volmer of St. Paul; nephews, Merle Modesitt and his wife, Annie, of Thayer, Phil Modesitt and his wife, Donna, of Louisiana, Tom Bayless and his wife, Debbie, of Parsons, Gary Bayless of Wichita, Phil Volmer and his wife, Nancy, of Louisiana and Steve Volmer and his wife, Penny, of Shawnee; nieces, Katherine Stitt and her husband, Stan, of Thayer, Cheryl Wallace of Parsons, Jane Arnold and her husband, Larry, of Topeka and Peg O’Connor of Denver; and numerous great-nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces and nephews, great-great-great-nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
He learned around Father’s Day that he would be a great-grandpa to Ryan and Kristin’s child.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, Monroe; two brothers, Martin Bayless and Merle Max Bayless; two sisters, Marguerite Modesitt and Marie Buchanan; and his daughter-in-law, Robin Bayless, on Feb. 16, 2011.
Junior requested that his body be donated to Kansas University School of Medicine. A graveside service and burial will be held at a later date at Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Dennis.
The family welcomes all of Junior’s friends and family to meet with them from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 23, 2011, at First Christian Church in fellowship hall in Parsons to reminisce and celebrate his life.
In honor of his daughter-in-law, Robin Bayless, memorials for breast cancer research may be made to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Memorials are also suggested to Brown-Bishop Post No. 704, Veterans of Foreign Wars, or First Christian Church in Parsons. These may be left at or mailed to Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.