John S. Bayley, 87, teacher for 30 years, traveler, sailor


John S. Bayley, who taught in Baltimore County schools for 30 years and enjoyed travel and sailing, died Oct. 6 from complications of hepatitis at his home in Arden on the Severn in Anne Arundel County. He was 87.

Mr. Bayley, who taught physics, mathematics and driver's education, retired in 1969. In retirement, he managed his real estate investments.

A member of the Mountain Club of Maryland, he enjoyed backpacking and hiking in the West and the Appalachians with his wife, the former Suzanne Duker, whom he married in 1939.

"I taught him how to hike and we had many wonderful adventures together," said Mrs. Bayley, who shared her husband's passion for travel.

The couple traveled extensively in the United States, Asia, South America, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, Canada and Europe.

Mr. Bayley's travels often were adventurous.

"He was stalked in India by a leopard and didn't know that the animal was about 20 feet behind him. Our guide told me not to call him because if he turned around, the animal might attack," Mrs. Bayley said.

"He also rode a bicycle through Scotland when he was 81, often riding 25 or 30 miles a day," she said.

"He was a minimalist who tended to downplay his brushes with danger," said his son, J. Lawrence Bayley of Crownsville.

An avid sailor, Mr. Bayley was a member and past president of the Indian Landing Boat Club and enjoyed sailing the Chesapeake Bay aboard Lands End, a 35-foot sailboat he shared with a friend.

"He was known for his expertise in being able to fix anything on shipboard, including the plumbing, which earned him the nickname of the 'Head Man,' " his wife said.

"He had a ready wit and an interesting mind and was an omnivorous reader," she said. "He didn't like novels -- what he read had to be true -- so he confined his reading to biography, history and science and had a rather large library."

The couple, who formerly lived in Cockeysville and Towson, moved to Arden on the Severn in 1963.

Mr. Bayley was born in Aberdeen, the son of a Methodist minister, and later moved to Baltimore with his family. He graduated from City College.

He interrupted his studies at the University of Maryland to join the Merchant Marine. He returned to UM, earning a bachelor's degree in 1936.

He was a member of the Severn River Association and supported the activities of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at his home at 970 Omar Drive.

Other survivors include a daughter, Dr. Suzanne Bayley of Wildwood, Alberta, Canada; a sister, Mary Barnard of Sandy Spring; and several nieces and nephews.

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