Camden — Jean Bayer, 93, passed away peacefully, Feb. 9, 2013, at Quarry Hill in Camden.
Born in 1918, near Philadelphia, she was the daughter of Frank and Mable Major Stead. As a young girl she grew up on a small family farm and attended Plymouth Meeting Friends School. After graduating with honors from Norristown High School, she decided on a nursing career and became a registered nurse, completing her post-graduate work in obstetrics.
She married A. Stewart Murray of Philadelphia, and they raised three daughters there. Jean was an active Girl Scout leader and taught courses for other leaders. As a nurse she went on all camping and field trips. She was also very active in her church and president of the women’s guild at Ardmore Presbyterian Church. Her other interests included art history courses at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, German language classes and various charitable programs.
During the 1950s and 1960s she loved summers at Stone Harbor, N.J. long before the oceanfront land development. She and her daughters spent many days on the dunes and wild beaches collecting shells and bird watching. She was a tireless swimmer having learned in quarries and then sailing the ocean bays with her male cousins. But she constantly cautioned her girls “to stay in front of the lifeguard.” The girls also remember many hours that their mother read to them, every night at bedtime and then rainy days at the shore…."Winnie the Pooh" to "Treasure Island." Jean also enjoyed hours of board and card games with her girls, especially Clue and Scrabble.
After her girls were grown, Jean lived in Hawaii and subsequently married Walter Bayer. The islands were a perfect setting for Jean’s love of the ocean and nature which Walter shared. They explored many remote areas in their old army jeep “Betsy.” Eventually they moved to California and then Maine to be near Jean’s eldest daughter and retired to Quarry Hill.
Every acquaintance of Jean’s admired her lifelong talent for quilting. Wherever she lived, Jean joined the local quilt guild and took many prizes at shows. She also gave workshops, especially on Victorian Crazy Quilts with her fine abilities for embroidery. As she told friends, her favorite ribbons were for Viewer’s Choice, where she connected with the show audience, not just judges. Many residents at Quarry Hill visited her Doll House quilt with its amazing detail and unique choice of fabric and stitching. Residents also enjoyed the handmade cards she designed for every occasion.
Jean is survived by her cousin Theron Foote of New Jersey; her three daughters, Kathleen Murray-Allain of Owls Head, Marilyn Murray of San Jose, Calif., Andrea Goo of Portland, Ore.; her four grandchildren, Peter Murray Greulich of West Chester, Pa., Laura Wetterholt of Saratoga, Calif., Dan Gascon and Cody Nicholson of Portland, Ore.; and her two great-granddaughters, Marguerite Kathleen Greulich and Jessica Marie Greulich of West Chester, Pa. She will always be in the hearts of those who admired her sunny nature, sense of humor and love of family and friends.
A gathering of love and remembrance to be held at Quarry Hill will be announced in March. In keeping with her wishes, Jean will be returned to her beloved Hawaii, where she will be interred with her husband at the Oahu Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to AIO Food Pantry, P.O. Box 113, Rockland, ME 04841.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. To share a memory or condolence with Jean’s family, please visit her Book of Memories at bchfh.com.