Majority of the improvements and additions to the Carthage parks these past 25 years involved Tom Bayless.

Majority of the improvements and additions to the Carthage parks these past 25 years involved Tom Bayless.
After 25 and a half years as an instrumental team member of the Carthage Parks and Recreation crew, Bayless, the park maintenance supervisor, was bid happy retirement Jan. 3, 2017. Over the years, Bayless was part of countless projects for the city; such as: building fences, structures, fountains, installing gates, repairing roofs and many others. One of his first projects in 1991 was removing the tennis courts in Griggs Park.
"I tried to do a good job - that's what you try to do – make things better than when you get there," Bayless said. "I think one of the things or projects I was most proud of was the trees. I got to watch a lot of trees grow up."
Besides the fulfillment construction and maintenance can bring, Bayless said he has enjoyed the people that work hard for Carthage.
"I think one of the highlights was this job allowed me let me get to know people in different departments around the city – water and electric, street department, firefighters – all the different departments that work together," Bayless said. "I'm proud I was able to retire from this job."
After Bayless graduated from the Carthage High School Class of 1974, he served six years with the National Guard.
Bayless married Shawna 33 years ago, and together they raised two sons: Josiah, who works for the Carthage Street Department; and Jonathan, who works for Carthage Water & Electric. The family has grown to include four grandkids.
On the Carthage Parks & Recreation crew, Brian Bradley has taken over for Bayless.
"He reminds me of me," Bayless said, "he just wants to make the parks better. He'll do a great job."