Jerry R. Bayless was born October 23, 1937 in St. James, Missouri and passed away on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at the age of 81 years.
A former associate dean of engineering at Missouri Science and Technology, he was known “Mr. S&T” and taught civil engineering at the university for 57 years, from 1959-2017.
He graduated as valedictorian from Cuba High School in 1955, then studied civil engineering at the Missouri School of Mines (now Missouri S&T), working each summer for the Missouri Highway Department. He was inducted in Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society, in 1957 and into Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society, in 1958. He earned a bachelor of science from MSM in 1959 and was hired the day of commencement as an instructor in civil engineering. While working full time as an instructor, he took graduate classes, earning his master’s degree in civil engineering in 1962.
On December 26, 1959 he married Shirley Louise Hertel.
Over the years he taught more than 10,000 students and 21 different civil engineering courses. He served as freshman advisor and transfer advisor and he was involved in student recruiting. He was assistant chair of civil engineering from 1968 to 1985, interim chair of civil engineering in 1986 and 2006, assistant dean of engineering from 1986-1990 and associate dean of engineering from 1990 to 2006. He retired in February 2017 as associate professor emeritus of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering.
He was a member of the Society of Sigma Xi and an honor member of Blue Key, Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi.
For more than 50 years, he was faculty advisor to Chi Epsilon. He was a chapter honor member and in 2008 he was awarded the Chi Epsilon National Arthur N. L. Chiu Award for Excellence as a Faculty Advisor. In 2017 he received the Harold T. Larson Award from Chi Epsilon, the highest award for service to the society and profession. He also served as link coordinator and a Governor nationally for the Order of the Engineer. He was the advisor to the Missouri S&T Student Council for more than 20 years and was a member and past advisor to the local chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
He was secretary-treasurer of the S&T chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, secretary and treasurer of the S&T Academy of Civil Engineers, and treasurer of the Miner Alumni Association and the Miner Booster Club.
He was a recipient of the Alumni Merit Award from the Miner Alumni Association, an honorary member of M-Club, a member of the Order of the Golden Shillelagh, and an honorary Knight of St. Patrick. In 2004 he received the Chancellor Medal. In 2011 he was named one of Missouri S&T’s inaugural class of Alumni of Influence and was awarded the University of Missouri Presidential Citation for Outstanding Alumni Service.
He held offices in the Rolla Chapter of the National and Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers (fellow and life member) and the American Society for Engineering Education. In 1968 he was named Young Engineer of the Year, Rolla Chapter and State, MSPE. In 2017 he was given the Outstanding Link Coordinator Award from the Order of the Engineer.
He was a fan of Miner sports. For 30 years he kept score at the men’s basketball home games. He was a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.
He was a charter member of the Optimist Club of Rolla, where he had 53 years of perfect meeting attendance. He was a past president of the local club and had served as lieutenant governor of the Missouri District of Optimist International. In 1974 he was named Mr. Rolla Optimist for 1964-1974. He was deeply involved with youth sports with the Optimist Club and was especially proud to have initiated and propagated the local Optimist soccer program. He also worked with the Optimist basketball program. He was president of the Rolla Khoury League and Commissioner of the Khoury League of the Ozarks for about 15 years. He was a member of the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and a former member and chairman of the Rolla Park Board and the Rolla Board of Adjustment.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Bayless; and younger brother, Mackey Bayless.
He is survived by son, David J. Bayless and wife Sally, of Athens, Ohio; daughter, Jennifer L. Bayless of Rolla, Missouri; two grandchildren, Michael H. Bayless of Seattle, Washington and Laurel H. Bayless of Athens; other relatives and friends.
Visitation will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church of Rolla, Missouri with a memorial service to follow at 4 p.m. at the church with the Reverend Lou Ellen Hartley officiating.
Arrangements under the direction of the Null and Son Funeral Home of Rolla, Missouri.