Tona Lee Renforth Bays
Tona Lee Renforth Bays, of Berryville, died suddenly May 6, 2019, at the age of 73, peacefully surrounded by her family at Winchester Medical Center, VA.
Ms. Bays was born in Parkersburg, WV, November 16, 1945, to the late Joseph M. Renforth and the late Audrey J. Morris Renforth. She graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1963 and attended West Virginia University on a music scholarship. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi. After graduation she was married to Dr. Robert Bays. She lived in Baltimore, MD, where she taught elementary music; Amsterdam; Chapel Hill, NC, where she worked with the county parks and recreation service; Augusta, GA, where she worked for the Augusta Symphony Orchestra; and Atlanta, GA, where she volunteered her cooking for those in need.
After her divorce, she travelled the globe extensively as a chef on private yachts for 15 years, sharing her love of the sea with her nephew and Godson, Sean Stephens. During this time, she also enjoyed brief periods of rest at her mountain home in North Carolina.
She returned to the United States in 2005 to build her dream home on a family farm in Berryville. She continued sharing her love of cooking, teaching and entertaining working at Market Salamander, Mackintosh Fruit Farm, Nibblins and Rosemont Manor. Additionally, she donated her time and talent to provide private dinners for auctions to support various causes in Clarke County.
Ms. Bays lived a vibrant and eclectic life, with a love of the sea, traveling, cooking, entertaining, music, wine, penguins, her family and her friends. She was generous with her time and talents.
She is survived by her sisters Sheila Renforth Stephens of Berryville (Steve), Carolyn Gold of Nicasio, CA; brother Joseph Renforth (Sue) of Washington, WV; aunt Eula Morris Hardman of Marietta, OH; nieces Stacy Stephens Sefton (Chris) and Shelly Stephens Pine (John) both of Berryville; nephew, Sean Stephens (Anna) of Cannonvale, Australia, and Mark Frederick of WV; cousins Kirk, Kathy and Kevin Hardman and Kimberly Nutter Meredith; great nieces and nephews Alex and Rachel Sefton, Liam and Ryan Stephens and Kathleen Pine; and her Goddaughter Anny Gaul.
A celebration of life will be held at 4 p.m. on June 8 at her home on her beautiful deck beside her prized waterfall and pond. Friends are welcome. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Blue Ridge Hospice, Winchester, VA.
Arrangements are being handled by Enders & Shirley Funeral Home, Berryville. To send condolences online, please visit www.endersandshirley.com.