Joan (Schlenvogt) Bays
Joan (Schlenvogt) Bays
Joan (Schlenvogt) Bays
Joan (Schlenvogt) Bays
Joan (Schlenvogt) Bays
Joan (Schlenvogt) Bays

Obituary of Joan Marie (Schlenvogt) Bays

Joan Marie was born in Chicago, IL to Marie Van de Casteele and Henry Schlenvogt on September 21, 1929.  Joan attended Schurz High School where she was one of a group of girls called the Dopey Dozen, who were all lifelong friends.  Joan enjoyed sewing, dancing and parties.  Her first job was at Woolworths at Six Corners and she worked at the soda fountain counter where she made an awesome chocolate-chocolate soda, a favorite of hers throughout her life.  


Joan was working in the office at Nickie’s Chevrolet when she met Peter who was working as a mechanic.  When he asked her for a date, she said if he washed up and cleaned under his fingernails, she’d go out with him.  From then on, it was “magic”.  Soon they were married on May 14, 1949 and started welcoming their children into the world.  Joan and Peter moved to South San Francisco, California in 1957, where Peter worked in Sales for A.B. Dick Co.  He was often gone on business trips, flying over 100,000 miles in 1959 with United Airlines.  It is during this time that he and Joan claimed the song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” as “their song”.  With all of Peter’s traveling, it made him feel like he’d left his heart in San Francisco with Joan and the kids. 


In 1962, Peter and Joan relocated to San Jose and ended up sharing that home for 48 years.  Joan was a homemaker and spent her time raising the four kids: Mike, Kathy, Pete and Cindy.   She was busy attending all of her kids’ school and sporting events, volunteering for PTA and especially loved cheering at the Blackford High School homecoming game on Thanksgiving Day. Joan also had time for a bowling league with ladies from church and she volunteered at St. Martin’s Church in San Jose, cleaning the altar and participating in the annual fashion show.  We all remember in church on Sunday Joan’s voice soaring as she sang the hymns or giving us “the look” if we were too noisy/fidgeting.


Mom shared her love of sewing with her girls and through the years made matching outfits for Easter and Christmas.  She was creative and could make outfits out of anything, including material from the kitchen curtains (yellow and white striped seersucker with black rickrack and dingle balls, Easter 1965, we are still in therapy, photos have been destroyed). Of course, the boys were then dressed in similar colors in their suits or ties.  And she loved making handmade, personalized gifts for people.


Her family remembers Joan’s wonderful family celebrations where she prepared delicious meals, laying a great table and decorating.  She always made sure everyone was having a good time and made every gathering “special”.


Peter retired in 1981 and he and Joan hit the road in their motor home.  They enjoyed visiting family and friends, square dancing almost every day, playing games, seeing new sights and “wintering” in Apache Junction, AZ.


As time passed, Peter and Joan relocated to San Diego to be near their oldest daughter.  Joan enjoyed the activities at the retirement community: listening to the music, the History Lady, playing cards and games, singing in the choir, jigsaw puzzles and excursions.  Her precious husband Peter passed away in November 2014 after 65 years of marriage and Joan continued to enjoy family get togethers and all the chit chatting.


Joan and her son, Michael and his wife, moved into a home in the San Diego area where she lived until she passed away peacefully surrounded by her four kids after a week of sharing loving memories.  As many of you know, Joan collected angels- any shape or size.  Heaven has gained a new angel and she is watching over all of us.


Our Mom was so much more than these words above.  We will always remember her caring kindness, graciousness, selflessness, generosity, snappy outfits and “The Look”.  After the tears have dried and the goodbyes have been said all we have to hold onto are the happy memories that we’ve shared with our loved ones who have passed, this is what keeps them alive in our hearts and in our minds and they will continue to live on through us.


We love you Mom and know that you and Dad are jitterbugging in heaven!

You will be greatly missed and “always and in all ways” loved!


Joan is survived by:

  • Her son Michael and his wife Cheryl of San Diego, CA married for 40 years
  • Her daughter, Kathy Bays Tritsch and her husband Bob of San Diego, CA married for 38 years
  • Her son Peter Bays III and his wife Fiona of Woking, England married for 37 years
  • Her daughter Cindy Bays Robinson and her husband Bob of Divide, CO married for 28 years
  • Her sister Lois Boles of Algonquin, IL
  • Her sister-in-law Carmen Bays of Tustin, CA
  • Six grandkids, twelve great-grandkids and 1.5 great-great grandkids
  • And many nieces and nephews


In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks you consider a donation in her name to one of the following:


Shriners Children Hospital

For online donations:

Or mail donation to: Shriners Children Hospital; 2900 N. Rocky Pt Drive; Tampa FL 33607

*On their honeymoon, Joan and Peter were surprised to be in the midst of a Shriners convention and most of their honeymoon photos contain Shriners in the background. Joan wanted to support a children’s hospital.


Sharp Hospice Care

For online donations:  (Sharp Hospital Foundation)

Or mail donation to: Sharp Hospice Care; PO Box 158; La Mesa, CA 91944-0158

*Joan was supported the last months of her life by this caring and compassionate organization.


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