William Jaqua Bayes passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 30, 2021 at Landmark Hospital in Naples, FL, while listening to the voices of his children and sister sharing some of their favorite memories of what made him the absolute greatest and most loved father, brother, mentor, and friend.
William was born in Alexandria, VA on September 4, 1959 to William Glover Bayes and Joetta Jane Bayes (Tyree), both of whom he is predeceased by. He grew up on Tipton Lane in the neighborhood that brought him the friendships and honorary family members he loved and cherished his entire life. It’s also where he had the paper route that gifted him with his 5 a.m. internal alarm clock and remarkable ability to knock on stranger’s doors without hesitation. After graduating from Edison High School, he continued in his job taking photographs for the Alexandria Gazette — discovering that he could orchestrate his own photojournalism assignments that just so happened to require him to travel to places like the Amazon or the Caribbean. Once he felt sufficiently well-traveled, he decided to try his hand at the commercial real estate and development world. This decision was made when he walked into Roger Machanic’s real estate and development office in Old Town Alexandria and said something along the lines of “so what do you do here? I think I’d probably be good at it.” This introduced him to one of his most loved mentors and catapulted him into an industry he grew to excel at and enjoy, in both Virginia and Florida.
In his free time, William enjoyed scuba diving, walking faster than everyone around him, spending his birthdays hiking his age that year in miles, solo adventures on his boat that often turned into joint adventures with Sea Tow, composing long, meaningful texts to his loved ones during his early morning hot tub sessions, and traveling, especially with his children.
William is survived by his son, Weston Jaqua Bayes (St. Louis, MO), daughter, Jennifer Lauren Bayes (Harrisonburg, VA), and his sister, Isabelle Bayes Moon (Naples, FL).
His love for photography leaves his children with a detailed record of his life, their lives, and all the people, moments, and travels in between. However, he still had a lot of life left to live and guidance to share. Everybody has a William story, and we’d love to hear them all. In lieu of flowers or donations, Weston and Jennifer request that you send your favorite William-story, piece of advice, travel memory, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org or to PO Box 224, Harrisonburg, VA 22803 c/o Weston & Jennifer Bayes.
As we all attempt to navigate a world without William, we encourage everyone to not sweat the small stuff (or big stuff) because, as he always said, “this too shall pass”, tell your friends and family how much you love them, and put in the effort to maintain those relationships, allow yourself to enjoy the calm of mid-day thunderstorms, go to the movies by yourself, create your own opportunities in life, find a way to say “I’ll meet you at the airport” when opportunities to travel arise, catch the sunset, take the selfie, and Don’t Say “I Can’t” because you won’t know what you’re capable of until you try.
A celebration of life event will be held in Northern Virginia at a later date.
To plant a tree in memory of William Jaqua Bayes, please click here.