I want to take a moment to thank the Chuck Bay family for sponsoring the upcoming Vintage Watercolorists of Washington GRAND FINALE at the Floyd Hall in Stanwood on Saturday, March 11. There family support of our family goes back a long ways. Here’s that story.

My dad, Jack Dorsey, grew up on a 50 acre farm in Redmond, WA with his older brother, Bob, his dad Bert, and mom Emma. Another brother named Chuck Bay who was thirteen years older, the son of Emma and her first husband, Charles Bay, Sr., lived a mile or so away from their farm.

Chuck Bay as a youngster in Redmond

Dad always felt close to his brother Chuck. He loved him like a full brother and looked up to him as like a kid brother looks up to a big brother. There were lots of reasons to look up to Chuck. Chuck attended Lake Washington High School and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in forestry. He served in the Navy and we have a sweet picture of Chuck with his arms around his younger brothers Jack and Bob.

Chuck stumbled upon a beautiful gal named JoAnne, whose dad Ben and mom Emily Stenquist owned Redmond Cleaners, a dry cleaner shop in downtown Redmond. Apparently Chuck noticed the young lady working at the store and began to visit on a weekly basis to get his shirts dry cleaned. It worked. In 1953 Chuck and JoAnne married. Chuck worked for lumber companies, first to in Portland where their first child, Bobbie Jo (1954) was born, and then in Missoula where their second, Bryan (1957) was born. Chuck and JoAnne returned to Redmond, and then he returned back to his home in Redmond where he was a successful salesman for United Lumber, a Redmond based lumber company, who worked on major construction projects and later at a cabinet shop owned by Bill Sherman. In Redmond, Becky (1959) and Brad (1962) joined the family, making the Bay family a tribe of six.

Chuck and JoAnne opened their heart and home to our family. Their family, including all four kids, celebrated Dad and Mom’s wedding on Easter Sunday, 1966.

I remember at Christmas visiting what seemed to me to be their very wealthy and spacious home in Redmond. We did that many times, and always received Christmas gifts from our Uncle Chuck and Aunt JoAnne. That meant a lot because by that time we were a typical struggling artist family, trying to make ends meet. When Dad launched on his full time art career in 1969, Chuck was very supportive. He purchased many of Dad’s paintings over the years. He also encouraged his friends to buy his younger brother’s art. Bill Sherman held an “art party” at his beautiful home in Redmond and invited his well-heeled friends. Bill himself purchased a large painting. In November 2015, when we had moved to Redmond and visited Aunt JoAnne’s condo, I took photos of the amazing display of paintings that Chuck and JoAnne bought over the years. Here is just one example. Sorry about the glare on the glass.

Over the years, the Bay family grew and the Dorsey family grew too. They lived in Redmond. We lived on Camano Island. But still the brothers stayed connected.

Chuck came to Stanwood to watch some of my Little League baseball games, and attended an all star game I played in in Everett. He had time for us. Dad shared what was most valuable to him: his faith. Dad remembers once walking off the Mt. Si golf course and sharing about how you could have a personal relationship with Jesus. Chuck turned to him and said that he had not heard about that before. Even if he was not a believer, he was respectful of Dad’s faith. Uncle Chuck had had a bout with cancer decades before. Sadly, the cancer returned. He and JoAnne drove up to Camano to share with Dad and Mom that his cancer had returned. Here are some pictures from that visit, in the early 1980s.

After the recurrence of cancer, Chuck arranged for a dinner with his siblings at the Everett Pacific Hotel. Chuck wanted Bob and his wife Jan, Jack and Ann and him and JoAnne to be together at least one last time. “He probably paid for it,” Dad says. “That’s the way he was.” Dad was working at Boeing and sometimes instead of driving north to Camano he would visit Chuck and Joan in their new home in Bellevue. He visited him too at the University of Washington hospital. It was hard for Dad to see his strong, successful brother so thin. Chuck passed away June 4, 1986.

There’s something very loyal about Dad. He did love Chuck and appreciated everything that Chuck had ever done. He wanted to be in the lives of his kids, like Chuck had taken an interest in us. Over the years he kept in the lives of JoAnne, Bobbie Jo, Brian, Becky and Brad by making an occasional visit or phone call to them or by writing a letter. I’m sure he kept sharing his faith when he could. Bobbie Jo got met a great guy and had a successful career at the University of Washington. Brian got a job at a little company called Microsoft. He worked in the shipping department and was fortunate to get early stock options. Becky got married and moved to California and had two kids. Brad worked at restaurants as a cook, and his happy go lucky make him fun to be with, if not always responsible.

When our family moved to Redmond in Fall of 2015 I was eager to reconnect with my “Redmond” family. By that time, Becky was living with her mom, providing care giving to Aunt Joan. Dad and Mom and I had a chance to visit their beautiful condo in downtown Kirkland that looks over Lake Washington. It was so fun to see JoAnne, Bobbi Jo (who happened to stop by) and Brian too. Since then, Joanne and Brian have passed away.

Over the last couple of years, both Becky and Bobbie Jo have followed in their dad’s steps buying art from Dad and other family members represented at Sunnyshore Studio. So it was a no-brainer to reach out to Bobbie Jo to see if their family would be willing to be a sponsor of the upcoming Vintage show. She graciously said Yes! I’m humbled and honored at their love, support and friendship over all these years. THANKS!


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