Pearl Ostrum Bays, 93, of Baytown, passed away Monday, April 29, 2019, in Baytown.
Pearl was born at home on October 1, 1925 in what was then known as Coady, Texas now Baytown, to Ollie L. Ostrum, Sr. and Ruby Lane Ostrum. She had a wonderful childhood, although at the age of 7 yrs. old, was struck by the polio virus in her throat, losing the ability to talk and could only eat and drink liquids one teaspoon at a time. Through time and patience, she was able to teach herself how to talk again. As a young teenager she told stories of the depression and standing in bread lines with her mother to get the allotment for the family. As WWII was in full force, she quit Robert E. Lee High School six weeks before graduating and went to work at Humble Oil and Refinery in the cafeteria. She left there and went to work in the cigarette department of Weingarten’s grocery store. One of her customers was this good-looking sailor who had just recently came home from the war, who later became the love of her life and her husband, Chester Bays. When these two lovebirds moved into their first place, it wasn’t just the two of them. She gladly and lovingly accepted her mother in law, Eliza Bays, into her home, where she lived until her death in 1964. Soon after the marriage she quit her job and became a housewife. In 1953, she was the mother of a beautiful son, Robert and in 1955, a daughter Janice. Her love for family and friends had no boundaries. She fished many times with her husband and close friends and headed many pounds of shrimp that they caught. She loved the backyard cookouts, camping trips, gumbo feeds, traveling, many nights of playing cards and moon. She bowled on two leagues for many years, was a volunteer at San Jacinto Hospital, a room mother in school and the neighborhood babysitter, watching out the kitchen window over the many neighborhood kids that would gather for hours in the backyard. As a grandmother, she sewed matching outfits for her and Shelli, she baked cookies and went on trips. Once she crocheted 75 Easter bunnies so that her grandsons would have bunnies to give our kids in our classes. We all knew that the hair and the makeup and the clothes with no wrinkles in them was a priority before she ever left the house. Like said earlier, friends were very special to our Pearl. Her lifelong friend and neighbor Dian Fisher, was and still is very special to her and Janice called her a second mother. And then there are the Battarbee’s. I don’t know what else I can say about these people. The love and caring that this family have for Pearl has no boundaries. And she felt the same. Also, Nancy Harris and her sister, Becky Haugen.
Mrs. Bays was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Chester Bays, son, Robert Bays and granddaughter Rebecca Bays Keen, brothers, Ollie L Ostrum, Jr, William Wooster Ostrum, and sister Frances Jeanette Purvis. She is survived by her Daughter and son in-law Janice and Nathan Bracey of Baytown, grandchildren and spouses: Shelli Bryant and Troy of Baytown, Todd Lopez and Scylla of Pearland, Dustin Lopez and Calien of Baytown, Brandon Bays and Carly of Leander, 12 great grandchildren and one great great-grandson, 21 nieces and nephews, and friends.
The family will receive friends from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at the funeral home. Memorial services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, May 4, 2014, at the Crespo & Jirrels Funeral Home Chapel with services concluding thereafter.
We want to give a very special thank you to Faith Community Hospice and the private caregivers that took such wonderful care of our grandmother; Thelma Ford, Shelley Guerra, Sharon Alexis, Ruby Boutte, Rabbi (Ci) Joseph, and Nicole Lee. Thank you, ladies.