Doris L. Bayliss
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Gloucester - Doris Lee Sturtevant Bayliss, 97, died very peacefully on September 6, 2019, at the East Gloucester house she had shared with her son Geoffrey since 2011.
Doris was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 27, 1921, to Beach and Lena (Harriman) Sturtevant. The family moved to northern California when Doris was about five years old. She attended public schools in Alameda, a small community adjacent to Oakland and across the Bay from San Francisco. Some of her fondest memories were of her school friendships, long days playing tennis on the Alameda public courts, and chess games outdoors in the local park with her father.
After high school she went to secretarial school and worked for a short time in San Francisco and New York before going to college at the University of California at Berkeley.
In 1948 she married Jonathan Bayliss. In 1953 they moved to Massachusetts with their young daughters; in 1956 they settled in Gloucester, where her son was born. Most of the rest of her life was spent in Gloucester and Rockport, with the exception of about a decade in the rural Maine communities of Dixmont and Thorndike.
Doris held a wide variety of jobs during her long working life. She was often employed as a highly accurate and literate typist, she ran her own nursery school in Gloucester, she held secretarial positions through temporary agencies, and, in later life, she cared for the elderly. Some of the places she worked for extended periods include the Gloucester Daily Times, Peabody-Essex Museum, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
From an early age Doris loved words and writing. In her spare time throughout her life she wrote hundreds of poems, some of which were collected in two volumes of verse.
She also enjoyed artistic pursuits in drawing, painting, and quilt-making. She liked to put her own unique stamp on her surroundings, through her selection of furnishings and decorations.
Doris was devoted to the adopted cats and dogs that became part of her household, including her outdoor cat Belle (who lived for 22 years), her Old English Sheepdog Allwyn, and her Pomeranian Willie (currently 16).
Throughout her long life, Doris was known for her dazzling smile, spiritual interests, self-reliance, kindness and encouragement to others, and subtle wit.
Her family is extremely grateful to the many dedicated, compassionate, and highly skilled people who cared for her and greatly enriched her last years.
She is survived by her son Geoffrey Bayliss of Gloucester; her daughter Victoria Bayliss Mattingly and son-in-law Joseph Mattingly of Traverse City, Michigan; daughter Catherine Bayliss and her partner Michael Lipton of Gloucester; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her half-siblings Horace Sturtevant and Genevieve Sturtevant Odenbaugh and by Jonathan Bayliss, her husband of 18 years.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor. Among the charitable organizations she supported are the Carter Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Bangor Theological Seminary.

Arrangements are being made by Campbell Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester.
All are welcome to attend a service in celebration of her life at St. John's Episcopal Church, 48 Middle St., Gloucester, on Monday, September 16, at 11:30 a.m. Parking is available at 33 Washington St.
Published on September 9, 2019


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Showing 10 of 7 posts

Karen Peters
Sep 15, 2019
Medium Dish Garden was purchased for the family of Doris L. Bayliss by Karen Peters.  Send flowers
Phuong Nguyen
Sep 14, 2019
Gracious Lavender Basket was purchased for the family of Doris L. Bayliss by Phuong Nguyen.  Send flowers
Jane Barry
Sep 11, 2019
Catherine, your mother looks and sounds like she was a lovely person. I know you had her for a long time, but I also know that when you lose your mother, it doesn't matter how long you had her, the void is still yawning. It is a trauma that all of us experience, a terrible Taste of our own mortality. My heart goes out to you at this time. Fondly, Jane
Cathy Salciccia
Sep 10, 2019
Before Doris moved to Geoff's house, We were always bumping into each other in the same places: the post office, Shaw's parking lot and at the check-out counter. With her tam on her head and her big smile , she looked like a free spirit making her way through her life. One day, Geoff had an art exhibit in the back yard. There was every kind of food, but I kept circling back to the German chocolate cake. Sitting in the shade Doris said , " My dear, I have watched you now for an hour and you have eaten most of my German chocolate cake" to which I responded, " Well, I was so sure you bought it for me, Doris!" and she laughed.

I had the good fortune of seeing her almost twice a we
...ek at the house when I came to give Geoff his piano lesson.
" Oh, how marvelous, she would say and we danced and she laughed as I sang "Cabaret." Now, from the piano, I look to my right and I still see her rising and saying "good night."
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Frances Perkett
Sep 09, 2019
Sweet Tranquility Basket was purchased for the family of Doris L. Bayliss by Frances Perkett.  Send flowers
Sep 09, 2019
We lived next door to Doris many years ago when she lived on Bond St. She was a wonderful neighbor . It was such a delight to have Allen and Doris greet us each morning in good weather.
Sep 08, 2019