David Charles Bays
February 11, 1962 – April 17, 2023

The brightest light in our family here on earth has been dimmed.  It will now become a bright light with our family in the Heavenly sky.  It will still shimmer in small amounts here on earth with all the memories and photos we have of David.

David was born to Lillian and Charlie Bays on February 11, 1962, at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Kenora, Ontario.  Within months David was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.  While it was difficult at first, he became the brightest, happiest, content baby there was.  His bright light becoming stronger and stronger.

David attended and graduated Kinvalley School in Kenora where he made some friends who would stay friends right until the end.

After school he began working at Arc Industries under the watch of Melissa Reynard and Margaret (Frost) Cameron.  He began creating fishing lures, made flowers and assisted in the creation of ceramics.  He then was “promoted” to the Wood Shop under the careful guidance of Mitch Weare.  This is what he enjoyed the most and flourished here.

He also did some woodworking classes along with his Dad with Bill Laffin.  He created some beautiful pieces that he treasured so much and still had.

During the closure of Arc Industries he went to work for Bob Firth at Bar-B-Q Bobs on Rabbit Lake Road  His job here started out just washing dishes, but became so much more.  Bob not only became his boss, but he became a very good friend to David and his entire family.  David made many more life-long friends here and enjoyed every minute of the camaraderie with everyone in the restaurant.  (wowweee and HONKHONK).  Bar-b-q Bobs became his only place he would want to eat when he was able to go out for lunch or dinner.

After the closure of Bar-B-Q Bobs David began work at Yesterday’s Restaurant at the Kenora Travelodge under the watchful eye of Al Gan and Teresa Gallik.  David worked here for eight years and again made many friends.  He enjoyed his time working here.

David absolutely loved to be out on the lake boating with the family, fishing or camping with Mom and Dad.  In his early years he also enjoyed the Sunday outings by snow machine that lasted all day.

David was first and foremost a Swimmer.  He competed with Kenora Special Olympics from the time it was formed in Kenora.  He attended many Regional, Provincial and National Games.  He always came home with trophies, medals and ribbons.  He was totally in his element in the pool and competing!!  He also took part in other sports, such as bowling, floor hockey, soft ball, snowshoeing and track and field until which time he broke his leg. 

During his travels to National games he was so excited to meet many of his Pro-Athlete idols, Wayne Gretzky and Lanny McDonald to name a few.  

David was always a big tease and a jokester.  He was always trying to pull a fast one on you!!  He especially loved his can of “worms”, and his Choo Choo whistle.

David LOVED to “get his hands dirty” at the casino when he and Mom would visit Aunty Sal in St. Catharines....off they would go to Niagara Falls just for that purpose.  He was not impressed when the casinos changed from using coins to using paper, but he still called it “Getting his hands dirty.”

David loved his coffee breaks at Tim Hortons and you could always see him eating his Apple Fritters (thanks to Georgie and Tash - - wow wow wow)

In 2009 David and his sister Carolyn made the decision to retire and move to St. Catharines, Ontario.  He loved it there.  He adored meeting new people and making new friends.  He especially loved all the Game Nights and Social events that were offered in their new building.  He loved his new home.

Four years ago David had a fall in the bathtub which resulted in two broken shoulders.  He spend many months in hospital and in Rehab learning how to use his arms again, and learning his balance to be able to walk.  While in rehab he suffered a series of strokes as well as a bad fall.  Unfortunately, he never really regained that balance so was unable to walk unassisted.  Soon he was forced into a wheelchair until such time that he could no longer tolerate it, then he became bed-bound.  Over the next year he continued to loose more and more of his speech and cognitive skills.  With the help of some very special PSW’s  Carolyn was able to keep him at home and comfortable until his last hospitalization.

David was predeceased by his Mom and Dad Lillian and Charlie Bays, his Grandparents Helvi and Esmond (Dan) Drew and Edna and Merill Bays, as well as a number of other Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.  David was also predeceased by his niece Tiffany and his Brother-in-Law Peter Ward

David is survived by his loving sister Carolyn Ward as well as his nieces Robyn Stahls (Jason), Keyra Rocheleau (Marcel) and Alyson Mingo.  As well as his Great Niece and Nephews Elaina Rocheleau, Taylor, Isiaih and Wyatt Stahls and Ashton Mingo.

David has been cremated and Carolyn will bring him home to Kenora at a later date, at which time we will have a Celebration of Life.

I would like to send a special thank you out to all the Nurses, Doctors and staff from ICU at St. Catharines General Hospital who were so wonderful and loving with him.  Also to all PSW’s and nurses who made it so much easier to care for and keep David at home all these years.  Your special work and special friendships did not go unnoticed. 

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.brownfuneralhomekenora.com for the Bays family.