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Robert E. Bays

1921 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Robert E. Bays Obituary
BAYS, Robert E. Robert E. Bays of Atlanta departed this life peacefully on October 6, 2015 at age 94. Born in Bonne Terre, Missouri, he was the son of Reverend J.W. and Bertie Cole Bays. In 1998 he was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Cleis Armour of Fort Scott, Kansas. He is survived by his daughters Deborah Lynn Bays of Denver and Rebecca Ann Bays of Atlanta, and by son-in-law Douglas Gies of Atlanta, and granddaughter Emma Claire Gies of Seattle. His brother, J. William Bays of Kansas City, preceded him in death in 1996. Dr. Bays earned degrees from Emporia (Kansas) State University, Teachers College - Columbia University, and George Peabody College (now part of Vanderbilt University). After serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he spent his career as a professional musician and university professor/administrator, first at George Peabody College, Nashville, then at the University of Texas at Austin, and finally at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from which he retired as Director of the School of Music in 1986. He was active for many years as a conductor and French hornist, serving as principal hornist with the Wichita and Nashville Symphony Orchestras. From 1979 to 1982 Dr. Bays served as president of the National Association of Schools of Music, the national accrediting agency for academic music programs. He was active throughout his career as a consultant to colleges and universities, and to the departments of education of various states. He also served as a member of the Academic Music Panel of the International Communication Agency of the U.S. State Department and as a consultant to the Bureau of Higher Education of the U.S. Office of Education. H.W. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Oct. 11, 2015
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