Mary Louise, almost 95 years old, slipped peacefully into eternity on December 1,2012. She was born in Bakersfield, the daughter of Lionel and Elsie Thomas, Sr. At an early age, along with her brother Lionel, Jr., the family moved to Taft, California, whereby their father opened Taft Motors, selling DeSotos, P1ymouths and Chrys1ers. Mary Louise attended Taft schools-Conley, Lincoln and Taft Union High School. During the hot, Taft summers she would spend her days with her grandmother in San Francisco. After graduation, she attended U.C. Berkeley while living with her grandmother. Daily she would take the Embarcadero ferry to the Berkeley campus. It was on the daily rides where she learned to play bridge, a passion she enjoyed well into her 80s.
In 1937 she married Bill E. Bayer of Maricopa, California. Mary Louise and Bill have two children, Mark Bayer and Cynthia Bayer Chase. Mary Louise was a stay-at-home mom, involving herself with many of Mark and Cynthia's activities. She especially enjoyed being a 4-H leader in the Rio Bravo Greeley School District where she taught sewing and cooking. When she was not busy with her children's activities, she sewed beautiful clothes for herself and Cynthia.
When Mark and Cynthia were in high school, she and other ladies in Taft attended Fresno State Extension in Bakersfield to acquire their teaching credential. After graduating from Fresno State Extension with a B.A. and a teaching credential, Mary Louise taught remedial reading in Fellows, California until her retirement.
After mom retired from teaching she and Bill continued their love of traveling the world and taking excursions in their RV around the United States. She continued playing bridge in Taft and Bakersfield with friends and AAUW, organizing Taft High reunions and volunteering for organizations in Taft.
When dad passed away in 1993, mom moved to Kern City and continued her many activities. Several years later she lived at Emeritus Assisted Living and Memory Care.
Mary Louise is survived by her children Mark and wife Beverly and Cynthia; grandchildren, Michelle Chase, Alan and Todd Bayer; great grandchildren, Dante Del Valle Chase, Parker and Emma Bayer; nieces and nephews, Barbara Watson, Nannette Lynch, Lionel Thomas III, Mary Voss, Paul Thomas, Patrick Thomas and many other relatives and friends.
Mark and Cynthia would like to express their sincere gratitude to the loving care at Emeritus Assisted Living for their exceptional care they provided during the last years oflife, especially Kathy Daniels, supervisor of Memory Care, Almarys, Mari, Knicole, Sherneter,Corlice, Maura, San, Amanda, Nikki, Jennifer, Kristi, Rebecca, Brooke, Lanah, Winnie, Kala, Sabrina, caregivers at Odessey Hospice and LifeHouse for her final days. At Mary Louise's request there will be no funeral services. A celebration of life with her family will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Taft Oil Museum or the Bakersfield SPCA.
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