James Bays

  • Born: June 17, 1939
  • Died: February 28, 2014
  • Location: Lenexa, Kansas

Johnson County Funeral Chapel and Cemetery

11200 Metcalf Avenue
Overland Park, KS 66210

Tel. (913) 451-1860

Tribute & Message From The Family

James Meredith Bays, 74, passed away on February 28, 2014. Jim "Bud" was born June 17, 1939, in Hotchkiss, CO. at the home of his maternal grandparents, Andrew J. and Minnie Daniel. His parents were Virginia and Darrell Bays, from Sedan, KS. Jim lived in Uravan, CO. in his early years then at the age of 5 the family moved to a farm near Elk City, KS.

In 1957 they moved to Independence, KS, where he continued his schooling, and especially enjoyed being a member of Sea Scouts. The family relocated back to Colorado in Grand Junction where Jim spent his high school years and excelled in wrestling and football. Following high school, he worked for Woolworth Company in Independence, KS and became the youngest store manager in their system. The company transferred him to various parts of the country. The Army drafted Jim in 1961 for two years of service ending as an instructor at Ft. Carson, CO. His work experience included managing at Target, Dolgin's and most recently Ranch Mart Ace Hardware where he became known as "Mr. Ace."

Jim was an active member for 22 years of the Leawood Lions where he twice served as President, and was honored with the Melvin Jones Fellow, the Foundations highest recognition to acknowledge an individual's dedication to humanitarian service in 2002. The City of Leawood awarded Jim with the Hall of Fame Award for philanthropic contributions in 2013. Jim was an active member of Countryside Christian Church and enjoyed his time in the Trinity Class.

He is survived by his wife Patty Watt Bays of 34 years, son Chris Bays, daughter Aimee Leggett (Lance), stepson Brett Snead (Karla), stepdaughter Janie Snead, and seven grandchildren: Evan Bays, Kylia and Derek Leggett; Caleb, Ethan, Harper Snead, and Elizabeth Snead-Tice. Also surviving are siblings Doris Davis Maley, Jackson D. Bays (Shelly), Cecil W. Bays (Bonnie) and Joe Bays (Sharon), numerous nieces, nephews plus a host of friends and other family who love him.

A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at D.W. Newcomer's Sons – Johnson County Chapel, 11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS. Interment will follow at the Johnson County Memorial Gardens, Overland Park, KS. The family will greet friends from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at the Johnson County Chapel.

Condolence & Memory Journal

I am so sorry to hear that Jim passed away. I have many fond memories of working with him. So glad my wife and I could make it to his retirement.

Marc Busing

Posted by Marc Busing - Shawnee, KS - Co-worker/friend   March 07, 2014

Jim was a great man whom I became friends with over the last 20 years through Ranchmart Hardware. Always helpful and always a kind heart. A great gentle spirit. He will be greatly missed. My sympathies to his family.

Posted by Beth Jacobson - Overland Park, KS   March 06, 2014

What a good guy and friend!
I was heart-sick to see it in the paper.

Jim was always my "go to" guy at the store and I always said, if you couldn't get it at Ranch Mart Hdw., you didn't need it!

Love and prayers to you Patty, and all of the family.

Bettye Gault

Posted by Bettye Gault - Overland Park, KS - Friend & Tom's "Lion" buddy   March 06, 2014

My sympathies to the family. Jim was a good friend and confidant. Jack Lewis

Posted by A friend   March 05, 2014

We have fond memories of spending time and shared experiences with Jim when he was a part of our family. We still consider him as family and were so glad we had a chance to visit him during his most recent illness. Our heartfelt condolences to all of his family.

Posted by Glenda and Jim Nelson - TOPEKA, KS - ex-sister and brother in law   March 04, 2014

Had the pleasure of knowing Jim since the 60's when we both worked together at Target in St Louis. His nickname back then was The Budda. Lost track of Jim until the early 70's in Overland Park when our daughter worked for him at Dolgin's. Jim was
liked by all that got to know him. He'll be
missed by many. Bill & Marianne Mc Kean Leawood, KS

Posted by A friend   March 04, 2014

Jim was well liked in the 1960's at Target. Had the
pleasure of working and knowing him at two Target
locations in St.Louis. Reconnected in the 70's in OP.
Jim will be missed, may he rest in peace.
Bill and Marianne Mc Kean Leawood,KS

Posted by A friend   March 04, 2014

Many memories of our years together. He will be missed by me, our children, and grandchildren.

Posted by Janice Bays - Topeka, KS - First wife   March 03, 2014

Bud and I spent a lot of time together during the time both of us were getting through school. He is missed by all of us for his character and generosity. We had some great times together, and I wish we had been able to make that last fishing trip.

Posted by Jack Bays - DANVILLE, CA - Brother   March 03, 2014

Patty, so sorry to hear about your husband. My thoughts are with you.

Posted by Elisabeth Hallock    March 03, 2014

Jim was a great "Ace guy". We'll all miss him, his steady manner and silent confidence he had in people. Thoughts and prayers out to Patty and family.

Posted by Tom Ketelhut - Oak Brook, IL   March 03, 2014

As everyone knows, together with Patty, Jim made Ranchmart an incredible store. When my mother came from Chicago we would go to Ranchmart and invariably she would find things there she couldn't find at home. My three sons, Matthias, Jesse, and Micah, all worked for Jim and Patty and are better men for it. Thanks, Jim, for all you gave to so many.

Posted by Jim Brandt - Lenexa, KS - Ranchmart Customer   March 03, 2014

I spent a lot of time around my uncles as a small child and have always thought of them more as brothers. I have many fond memories of my Uncle Bud and will miss him deeply. My heart goes out to all his family and friends.

Posted by Mark Davis - Boise, ID - Nephew   March 03, 2014


Jim (Bud) was my best friend when we were young. He was my Buddy and I was his Sissie. He was a loving, generous, caring man. I will miss him dearly. I send my sincere, loving sympathy to his family.

Posted by Doris Bays Davis Maley - Meridian, ID - sister   March 03, 2014

I was one of many high schoolers who worked as a cashier at Ranchmart Hardware. I learned so much from Jim about hardware and work and I am so grateful for that experience. My sincere sympathy to Patty and the family.

Posted by Jesse Peterson-Brandt - St. Paul, MN   March 03, 2014

I am so sorry for your loss. May the Most High God comfort you during these difficult days. (Psalm 83:18)

Posted by D McCarthy - AZ   March 03, 2014

I am grateful for the life of Mr. Bays. Thanks to his service and to the service of others in our armed forces, my family and I have been able to lead our lives in freedom and peace.

Posted by Bob - Grandview, MO   March 03, 2014

How can you ever walk in R.M. Hardware and not think of Jim? He was the go-to guy for my small home dilemmas. My husband liked to go in there on Sunday evenings and get his plumbing advice when the store wasn't busy. Such a treasure for so many. He will be missed. Much sympathy to the family.

Posted by Kelly Bride    March 03, 2014