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Kelvern Bell Bayless

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Kelvern Bell Bayless, 62, of Overland Park, Kan., died April 5, 2008, after a courageous battle with cancer. A celebration of Kel's life will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 9, at Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208. Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society, PO Box 82, Grandview, MO 64030. Kel was born Oct. 28, 1945, to L.E. (Ed) and Dorothy Bayless in Elyria, Ohio, Kel lived most of his life in the Kansas City area. He married Anne Darlington Sweney on March 11, 1966, and recently celebrated 42 years of marriage. He worked a few simple jobs as a young man but was an entrepreneur and visionary the majority of his life. He attended Shawnee Mission East High School and graduated with a degree in business from Drury University in Springfield, Mo. Kel had a strong desire to learn new ways of succeeding in life. He had a special quality that pushed him to go beyond what some people consider the "norm." From flipping hamburgers in his Sonic Drive-Ins, to renting and selling tower cranes for the last 20 years, to building his own personal castle, he enjoyed every adventure he created and found a way to bring smiles to everyone he met. As a lifelong member of the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kel strongly believed in an invitation to heaven through Jesus Christ. Just as he did with everything, Kel accepted that invitation with great dignity and love. Even in death, he prayed for us! Kel is survived by his wife, Anne Darlington Sweney Bayless of Overland Park, Kan.; son, Nathan Edward Bayless of Kansas City, Mo.; daughter, Linda Anne Skeen and her husband Don of Leavenworth, Kan. His parents, Ed and Dorothy Bayless continue to lived in Prairie Village, as well as his in-laws, Benjamin H. (Bud) and Anne D. (Nancy) Sweney. He is also survived by a sister, Cindy Bishop and her husband Chris of Chandler, Ariz.; sister, Laura Harvell of Lexington, Ky.; sister, Nancy Piepenbring and her husband Jim of Prairie Village; brother, Bruce Bayless and his wife Loretta of Milwaukee, Wis. Kel leaves behind three grandsons, Joseph Daniel Skeen (age 12), Samuel Cole Bayless (age nine) and Benjamin Kurtis Skeen (age three); plus numerous loving nieces and nephews, and many, many special friends that would take a whole page to list. Go with God, Kel. We will miss you terribly. Arr.: McGilley State Line Chapel (816) 942-6180.
Published in Kansas City Star from Apr. 7 to Apr. 8, 2008
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