Mrs. Virginia Bays, wife of the late John W. Bays '23, retired Navy Rear Admiral and director of the Culver Summer Schools from 1956 to 1970, died on June 11, 1984, in Annapolis, Md.
Mrs. Bays was a pioneer, along with her husband, in the move toward coeducation at Culver during the 1960s, when her success as a dance instructor encouraged the enrollment of girls first in a Culver Summer Theatre School in 1961 and then the Culver Summer School for Girls in 1965.
Following Admiral Bays' retirement from Culver in 1970, she moved with her husband to Annapolis, where he preceded her in death in 1979.
She is survived by a son, Carter, of Columbia, S.C., and two grandchildren.
From the Culver Alumnus Magazine 1984
Of John has been found:Harold Clifton Bays m. 24 Jul. 1903 Sullivan co., In. [Bk. CH-13 pg. 14] m. Glenn Lucas bv. 26 Jul. 1883 d. 1981 San Antonio, Baxyer, Tx. d/o William H. and Lucinda (Leach) Lucas. At 16 as a freshman in Sullivan High School he choose to enter the service during the Spanish American War after it ended his father made him go back to school and he chose Culver Military Academy and then chose to enter into the service again durin WWI. He was an instructor at Culver Military Academy for 28 years; Tactical Officer of Co. A.; director of Woodcraft Camp. Glenn was camp mother at Woodcraft for 23 years. The Harold C. Bays Leadership chair was a gift of Fergus H. Eddy and 20 classmates of the Class of 1931 in 1984 in his honor. He d. 3 Apr. 1932 Union twp., Marshall, In.
The Washington Post states: He was a top planning and operations officer during the amphibious phase of Normandy Invasion of WWII…was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the 1941 Japanese attack, later commanded a destroyer during the North American invasion and was commander of a task force during the invasion of Italy. He was appointed to the staff of Rear Adm. Allan G. Kirk, commander of the Western Naval Task Force, to plan the naval force’s cross-channel operation of the Normandy invasion known as “Operation Neptune”. Following his retirement in 1946 Adm. Bays returned to his native Indiana where he was on the administrative staff of the Culver Military Academy from which he graduated. He was also a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. In 1984 the John and Virginia Bays chair in the Fine Arts was given by an anonymous donor in their honor. He was a 1923 graduate of CMA and became the youngest admiral in the Navy in 1943 at the age of 40. He was awarded 2 bronze stars, the Legion of Merit and several combat citations. Rear Adm. Bays was an administrator at Culver from 1949-70, a director of Culver Summer Schools as early as the 1960’s. Virginia taught dance to the daughters of the faculty members.Their child:
Admiral J. W. Bays was a naval flag officer from a long time Culver family. His father and both of his brothers were graduates of Culver. His portrait hangs in the Naval Building.
After graduating from Culver in 1923 he went on to graduate in Annapolis from the Naval Academy in 1927.
He saw extensive service with the Navy from 1927 to 1949, rising from the rank of Ensign to Rear Admiral. During World War II he saw action in both the Atlantic and Pacific, North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, and earlier, Pearl Harbor. He was on the team responsible for much of the Normandy invasion planning.
Twice awarded the Legion of Merit with combat citation and the Letter of Commendation for Combat, he holds the Bronze Star with citation and the Croix de Guerre with Gold Star awarded him by the government of France. From 1946 to 1949 he served as Chief of Division of Foreign Service Administration, Department of State.
He joined the Culver staff in September, 1949, as Assistant to the Executive Officer and math instructor. In 1950 he was named Business Manager.
During his service at Culver he was also Director of Summer Naval School and Director of Summer Schools. He was also instrumental in the development of the Girls Academy at Culver.
He designed the Yarnell, a grey destroyer-like boat (about the size of the O.W.Fowler - perhaps a bit smaller), and Bud Craft built it.
Graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1957.