Remembering Rev. Ray Bayley

We were saddened by the loss of Rev. Ray Bayley, a long-time friend and Board Member of our Council.

In the early days of the Alcohol Problems Council of Wisconsin, Rev. Bayley traveled as our full-time representative, guest lecturer, and lobbyist. He gained years of practical experience, having dealt with laws and politicians while working as lobbyist, and then spending time reasoning with teenagers in the classroom as they sat through anti-alcohol lectures. We on the Council lovingly called him “Sage Bailey”, in reference to his insight from many years of accumulated life experiences. Ray Bayley also served as a Presbyterian minister & hospital chaplain. He lived an exceptional life and stayed busy reading, writing, and thinking — right up until the end. May we all be as useful to our respective causes as Ray purposely was for his.


Rev. Bayley loved limericks.  Rev. James Cotter, secretary of Alcohol Problems Council of Wisconsin, composed several limericks in honor of our witty friend.

“Abstain” said the preacher named Bayley;

He preached it and practiced it daily.

Though he lived in a state

Where drink is thought great,

He argued the opposite Ray­ly.


There was once an avuncular sage

Whose thought was not slowed down by age.

Of sparkle and wit,

He lacked not a whit;

But the Holy he gave center stage.





Rev. Ray (Ted) Waldo Gustavus Bayley, age 95, of Oakwood Village, formerly of Prairie du Sac, passed away on Jan. 29, 2015.

Born in Beaver Dam to Ray Waldo Bayley and Fannie Grolling on May 28, 1919, he graduated from Wayland Academy and the University of Wisconsin.

Ray met Hazel Jean Christoph while working as a Fuller Brush salesman; she was so pretty that he forgot her order! They married on June 30, 1944. Ray was ordained as a minister at McCormick Theological Seminary in 1945 and worked as a minister in the John Knox Presbytery. He worked with Wisconsin Alcohol Problems Council for the next 20 years. He was the first volunteer night chaplain at Madison Meriter Hospital for 21 years. Ray was active in the Presbyterian General Assembly and later became a member of the Association of Retired Ministers (ARMSS). He officially retired but served as an interim minister for years. For 20 years, Hazel and Ray ran Pleasant View Park Resort on Lake Wisconsin. Ray continued being active in Dale Heights Presbyterian Church, his other family.

Ray was a charter member of the Sauk Prairie Optimists, an Eagle Scout leader, and a volunteer in Nicaragua. He served as dean of Church camps and Inner City Day Camps of Milwaukee. For 55 years, on Christmas Eve, he played Santa Claus, visiting homes in Sauk Prairie. He was a long-term member of the Sauk Prairie Hospital Board and a regular blood donor up until age 83. Although Ray had many lifelong hobbies, including stamp and coin collecting, theater acting, listening to classical music, writing including writing limericks, and canoeing along the Wisconsin River, improving the lives of others was his true passion.

Ray is survived by his daughter, Jeanie Rae Sniff (James); son, John Calvin Bayley (Eva); grandchildren, JoAnna (Paul) 0′Connor, Joshua Gabrielson (Christine), Pacal Bayley, and Brendan Sniff (Michelle); great-grandchildren, Mali Rae, Cal, Olivia Bayley, Carter, and Teagan; nieces, Diane Christoph and Sue (Jack) Thiel; and nephews, Bruce (Joanne) Christoph and Doug (Laura) Christoph. Ray was preceded in death by his beloved wife; his brother, Gilbert; and his infant grandson.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. at DALE HEIGHTS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 5501 University Ave. in Madison, on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. Family will greet friends from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. A luncheon will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Church World Service for CROP or Wisconsin Community Action Program. Please share your memories at