Judson Eugene (Gene) Bay, age 95, passed away August 6, 2020. He was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming November 17, 1924 to Judson E. and Esther Bay. He married Norma L. Duncan of Fort Laramie, Wyoming on December 7, 1948 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and they celebrated 59 years of marriage when Norma passed away in 2008. They had two sons, Dennis E. Bay (Terry) of Casper and Kevin M. Bay (Anne) of Plainfield, Illinois and one grandson, Jason (Jill) of Wellington, CO and one great granddaughter, Savannah.
He graduated from Fort Laramie HS and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943, proudly serving in the Pacific Theatre during WW II with the 5th Marine Division. He became a Marine paratrooper but never had the chance to use his skills as most of the time was spent in the jungles of the Pacific islands. He was noted in the book, “Mission Raise Hell” about a small group of Marines that landed on a small enemy occupied island named Choiseul. Their mission was to create havoc to decoy the enemy into thinking that an invasion was coming so more troops would have to be brought to the island. The Marines were severely outnumbered due to lack of intelligence information and retreated to a beach where they were loaded onto US Navy PT boats and whisked away to safety. One of the PT boats was commanded by John F. Kennedy. Gene said that he did not know if he was on Kennedy’s boat because he “was too busy dodging bullets.”
He ended his Marine tour as a Corporal after being wounded during the battle for Iwo Jima in 1945 and was then shipped back to the US, awarded a Purple Heart, and honorably discharged. He was a proud Marine and made sure that all knew the lyrics to the US Marines’ Hymn.
Gene worked 40 years in the oil pipeline industry for Service Pipeline Company which became Amoco Pipeline Company. During this time Gene also worked weekends on the family farm southwest of Fort Laramie. Gene retired in 1986. He had a strong work ethic that he instilled in his two sons. He did not like to relax much even at the family cabin at Laramie Peak which became known as “Camp Work-a-lotta” because there was always something to do. His relaxation was to fish and taught his sons the finer points of fishing the creeks near their cabin. He firmly believed that all children should learn how to fish.
After Gene and Norma retired, they spent many days at their family cabin and traveled in their RV with boat in tow fishing Wyoming lakes and gardening at their home in Casper. They were avid Wyoming Cowboy football and basketball fans and loved to travel to games both in Laramie and out of state tournament games until health issues forced them to retire their season tickets.
There was only one major league baseball team that Gene followed – the St. Louis Cardinals. Both sons also became Cardinal fans and made several trips to Denver with their parents to see the Colorado Rockies and Cardinals play. These trips were highlights of Gene and Norma’s latter years.
At Gene’s request, no services will be held. A private family service and scattering of his ashes at the family cabin will take place at a later time.
The family would like to thank the staff at Meadow Wind for their thoughtfulness and care during Gene’s stay at their facility in Casper. In lieu of flowers, a memorial to the charity of your choice may be considered.
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