In Memory

Stephen Bayless

Stephen Bayless

Stephen D. Bayless, "Mr. B", 71, of Pinellas Park, passed away on Monday, June 24, 2019.  Raised in St. Petersburg and graduated from Northeast High School and Florida State University, he is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Helen Bayless.  He is survived by his brother, Randy (Linda) Bayless; his nephew, Brandon Bayless; cousins, Betty (Jim) Hicks and Ann (Alan) Baker.  As a music teacher at 16th Street Junior High and then Gibbs High School for over 35 years, Steve touched the lives of thousands of students.  He taught his students to love and appreciate music and theater, with many of them going on to have their own professional music and theater careers.  But more importantly, he taught them the values of hard work, confidence, respect, diversity and caring for others.  Steve also directed church choirs at Northeast Presbyterian and Gulfport United Methodist.  He served as the President of the Pinellas County Music Educator Association, as a board member of the Florida Theatre Conference and Southeastern Theatre Conference, and most recently as the Executive Director of the Florida Theatre Conference.  His dedication to teaching, students, music and theater earned Steve many awards and much recognition, including Pinellas County Teacher of the Year 1995, Florida Teacher of the Year Finalist 1995, Pinellas County Music Teacher of the Year, SETC Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Award, and featured in several St. Petersburg Times articles.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Steve Bayless Musical Theatre Scholarship Fund at 5650 Park Blvd. N., #7, Pinellas Park, FL 33781.  Steve's memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church of St. Pete.  Visit online guestbook at


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07/01/19 06:01 PM #1    

Dale Hadley

I was saddened to hear of Steve's passing. Steve was always cheerful to everyone and had great enthusiasm for life. I could tell he was going to have a great future in music and fine arts. I was proud to perform with him in Senior Choir and also the Gondoliers specialty singing group. My deepest condolences to Steve's family, his friends, and all who knew him.

07/02/19 08:55 AM #2    

Brian Green

I had several classes with Steve at NEHI. He was always a very nice guy. I’m sorry to hear of his passing. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

07/02/19 11:05 AM #3    

Woody Mitchell

I was saddened to hear about Stephen's passing. I ran into him a few times through the years and was always happy to see him as he was me. I wish we could all spend more time with each other now that the days are getting shorter, but high school was a long time ago. Remain happy my friends. Cherish what you have. I'll remember you fondly Steven.

07/02/19 11:08 AM #4    

Nancy Kinney (Dooley)

I remember Steve when we were at First Baptist Church and sang in the choir that his Dad led every Sunday.  Steve was always nice to everyone and a special friend.  He had a glorious life in the work he did and everyone will miss him.  Prayers for his family at this time.

07/02/19 12:10 PM #5    

Joe Maschino

Had choir with him he was quite the professional even back then.


07/03/19 09:14 AM #6    

Jack Wilson

It always tugs at ones heart when a former classmate/friend passes.  sometimes it tugs a little harder than others.  Steve was a special guy.

07/03/19 10:31 AM #7    

William Keith

Like a few of you, I knew Steve not only at NEHI, but, at First Baptist Church, singing in the choir under his dad’s leadership. So often while we are growing up we miss things that become all too apparent later in life. What I now reflect on was how Steve, Randy, and their parents so positively impacted my life. Coming from a broken home, I had felt alone and maybe not loved. The Bayless family had and showed so much love that you couldn’t be near them without feeling that love as well. 

Ironically, the night before we read of Steve’s passing, Julie and I were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids. Julie proudly showed them our wedding pictures and identified our “Best Man”, as Steve Bayless. As the years passed, Steve proved to be a “Best Man” in his teaching, and other theater and music endeavors.


07/03/19 12:02 PM #8    

Nancy Roche (Allen)

Like Dale, I sang with Steve in the Gondoliers.  Such a great guy with a marvelous voice.  Glad he remained in music; his students and fellow singers were lucky to have him!

07/03/19 04:32 PM #9    

Jill Azarenok (Marie)

Wow. Thanks for the comprehensive life review. So very accomplished. 

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