Robert E. “Bob” Bayley, 91, formerly of Mercer Island, Washington, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on November 6, 2017.
Born the son of a farmer in Peach, Washington, on September 16, 1926, Bob learned the importance of honesty and hard work from his earliest days – values that defined his character as a devoted family man, respected leader, philanthropist, and successful businessman.
Over his lifetime, Bob achieved many accomplishments, but none surpassed his pride in his family. He met the love of his life, Joanne, on a blind date on St. Patrick’s Day in 1950, and the two were married for more than 66 years. Together, they started Bayley Construction from the basement of their home in Mercerdale and grew the company to be among Inc.’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies and ENR’s Top 400 Contractors.
Under Bob’s guidance, Bayley Construction built more than 100 Nordstrom stores in over 17 states, restored Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater, constructed the Port of Seattle’s headquarters at Pier 69, the Seahawks’ VMAC practice facility, and the Seattle University Law School – work that contributed to his induction into the University of Washington Construction Hall of Fame.
Bob gave freely of his time and expertise. He served on the board of directors of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, chairing the board’s planning committee during the organization’s pivotal move to become South Lake Union’s first major development. He also served on boards for Puget Sound Bank (now KeyBank), AGC, Columbia Tower Club and others.
Family was everything to Bob. He was his children and grandkids’ biggest fan, and could always be counted on to be cheering or coaching from the sidelines. He enjoyed sharing his sense of adventure and loved boating and socializing in the San Juan Islands aboard the “Irish Cream.” Never one to sit idle, Bob set a goal of becoming a pilot and took up flying at the age of 49, as well.
Bob’s legacy lives on in his family and his company, and he will be remembered by many for his integrity, humbleness, quick wit, and rare ability to make all those around him feel special and important.
He is survived by his wife, Joanne; son, Ron (Joan); daughter, Janis (Reynaldo); and grandchildren, Royce, Brooke and Jordy.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 26th at The Overlake Golf and Country Club; 8000 NE 16th St. Medina, WA from 2 to 4pm.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made online in Bob’s name to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research at www.FredHutch.org.