March 18, 1925-March 8, 2014
Visitation – Rego Funeral Home (131 Nassau Ave & McGuiness Blvd)
Wednesday March 12 7-9pm
Thursday March 13 3-5 and 7-9pm
A brief service of witness to the resurrection will take place at 7:30pm on Thursday at the funeral home
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Greenpoint Reformed Church
It is with tremendous sadness that I share the news that Greenpoint has lost a beloved saint and all-around awesome person. Grace Bayley is the kind of woman I wish I could be. She often noted that her home was always open, but she couldn’t guarantee that it would be clean. She was quick with a smile and a kind word. One of my favorite memories was at a consistory meeting when I suggested trying something new in the church. She noted that they had tried something similar ten years before and that it “hadn’t worked.” But then she said, “well, Kid, if you want to try it, go ahead. It’s fine with me. Just don’t expect me to help, because I’m too old for that stuff.”
Many people will miss Grace: most notably, her husband Sam who she met in Sunday school at the Greenpoint Methodist Church when they were three years old. They married after Grace finished nursing school at Methodist Hospital and Sam returned home from fighting in World War II. They had three children: Nancy, who married the boy next door and moved to Washington State, Paul who lives on Noble Street and Tommy whose death in the late 1980s left a hole in Grace and Sam’s heart.
Grace worked throughout her adult life in various nursing capacities. She was caring and compassionate, and particularly no-nonsense. Grace attended many classis and other church meetings to speak about the consistory’s decision to extended a call to me to become their minister. At times during this process, she had to listen to some pretty graphic and inappropriate things said about her pastor. At one point I called her to apologize for her having to endure this on my behalf. She replied, “Kid, this is nothing. I’ve worked as a public health nurse in New York City in the 1960s. Nothing bothers me.” Indeed, nothing bothered Grace, except, perhaps, the idea of her church closing its doors.
Grace was instrumental in the turn-around of the Greenpoint congregation. She was so supportive of young people coming into the leadership of the church. She delighted in the gift of children running around the building. And though dementia had taken away much of her memory, she was always happy to greet “those nice, young people” even though she couldn’t remember any of our names. Grace loved to sing, and it was fitting that each week after the benediction, she ended our worship services by saying, “and thank you musicians.”
We celebrate communion twice a month. Every time I offered Grace the bread or the cup, I knew it might be the last time I might have such a special privilege. I will always be thankful that God gifted me with the joy of being Grace’s pastor. Our world is a much better place thanks to Grace having been a part of it.