Maxine Edith Wells Bailey Morris Bearss 90, Rochester, passed away at 10:20 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 at her residence.
She was born Jan. 14, 1926 in Terre Haute, the daughter of Rev. Harry Jasper Bailey and Edith Frances (Wells) Bailey. She grew up in Fenton, Mich., Nunda, N.Y. and Linton. During her junior year of high school, the family moved to Rochester when her father was called as Pastor of the First Baptist Church and she continued to be an active member of the church the rest of her life. She graduated from Kalamazoo College in 1948 and earned a Master’s Degree from Manchester University in 1976.
She married William Laurence Morris June 26, 1948 and they had three children. He preceded her in death in 1976. She married Wendell Boyd Bearss and took Wendell’s six children into heart. She and Wendell enjoyed thirty eight loving and happy years together. They enjoyed life on Lake Manitou, family and traveling to foreign locales including, Russia, China, Europe, Africa and South America.
Maxine had taught school in Kalamazoo, Mich., Nashville, Tenn. and at Rochester High School. She was a member of the First Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday school for many years, Kalamazoo College Alumni Association, working sixty years as class agent at Kalamazoo College, Tri- Kappa, Rochester Classroom Teachers’ Association, and the Board of Directors for the Marshall- Starke Development Corp.
Survivors include her husband, Wendell Bearss, Rochester; children: Deborah Morris, Rochester; William and wife Susan Morris, Rochester; Christopher and wife Jeannine Morris, Kalamazoo, Mich.; step-children: Patricia and husband William Nicholson, Rochester; Susan and husband Ricky Martin, Austin, Texas; Thomas Bearss, Rochester; Daniel and wife Peggy Bearss, Wakarusa; Jane and husband James Fesenmeier, Brownsburg; and Judy Bearss, Rochester; granddaughters: Alexandra Morris, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Carol Morris, Rochester; twelve step grandchildren and six step-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her grandson, Will L. Morris III; brothers: Harry Wells Bailey and James David Bailey.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday, August 29, at the First Baptist Church, Rochester, with Dr. Mark Spencer officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church Scholarship Fund or the donor’s favorite charity.