Caroline Bay went to be with her Lord and beloved husband, Benny Bay, on Sunday, February 10, 2019. She was surrounded by her loving children. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband.
Caroline was born on August 16, 1932 as the only child to the late Hazel Garner (Marsh) Richard and Edmond Hall Richard in the village of Fort Plain, NY. She attended the Fort Plain schools and completed nurses training. It was while working as a nurse that she met the love of her life, Benny from Killeen, TX, who was stationed at Griffis Air Force Base in Rome, NY. That began a long-distance courtship that resulted in their marriage on June 26, 1955 and her move to become a Texan and sister- in- law to Benny's two brothers and three sisters. She quickly became rooted in and loved the big families of Bay and Marshall. To maintain the Yankee roots, she and her family spent every year vacationing in Fort Plain at the "great" house and Horseneck Island in Newport, Vermont. Caroline assisted Benny in operating the family business, Minimax Grocery Store, a fixture in Belton for 35 years, where she eventually ran the bakery. During the early years she spent most of her time raising their four children. She was involved in the Girls Scouts, Den Mother for the Boy Scouts, American Legion Auxillary, Daughters of the American Revolution, Belton Band and Athletic Booster clubs and groups within the First United Methodist Church for over 60 years, singing in the choir and serving at the Wednesday College Lunches. In the later years she and Benny moved to Fort Plain to care for her father until his death, where they reunited with many friends from her youth. After they moved back to Texas she worked at the Salado Galleries with several of her dear friends. Caroline loved holidays and to host parties, decorating her home and tables for every holiday on the calendar. When she agreed to paper plates this Thanksgiving we knew something was awry.
Survivors include her daughter, Jennifer Garner (Bay) Smith and husband Pat of Austin; son Richard Edmond Bay and wife Terrie of Belton; son James Anderson Bay of Killeen; and son John Arthur Bay and wife Sarita of Cedar Park. She has five loving grandchildren - Richard Bay Jr, Ryan Bay and wife Santanna, Laura Smith, Jordan Bay Cotter and husband Chris, and Stephanie Smith and partner Clifton Russell. She was also blessed with three beautiful great-grandchildren - Greyson Bay, Graham Bay and Caroline Doris Russell (Smith). Additional family survivors include two sisters-in-law - Margaret Bay and Laura Ellen (Bay) Sinclair and numerous nieces and nephews. Family survivors from New York include Bill Francis, Bob Richard and Mark Marsh. She was blessed with many, many friends in the Belton and Fort Plain area who she will miss calling and feeding!
There will be a memorial service held on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. at the Harper-Talasek Funeral Home in Belton.
In lieu of flowers the family ask that donations be made to the First United Methodist Church in Belton.