Avis Garrett-Baptist

Avis in San Diego

Avis Bedford, Roles, Garrett-Baptist, Ph.D., art therapist, born July 15, 1935, in Deepwater, Missouri, passed away peacefully on January 16, 2021, in the comfort of her home. She was preceded in death by four siblings, and her daughter Lourie Roles Appelquist. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Jeremy Baptist; two sisters, Sue Ann Stuckey and Judy Macy; one brother, Kenny Bedford; her son, Gary Roles; her daughter, Sandy Tugman and their spouses; stepdaughters, Margaret Wan, Sarah Bradshaw, and Cathy Gardner and their spouses. She leaves behind 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

Avis was a life-long learner, an artist, and an adventurer. She was an early pioneer in the field of art therapy, earning a master’s degree from Emporia State University, and a doctorate from the University of Hawaii. She built a private practice and hosted monthly Women’s Support Group dinners in her home on the Plaza in Kansas City. Because of this one, great woman, many lives were forever improved. She gave strength and encouragement to all she met. She knew when to be serious and when to let loose.

People who knew her have stories. Please take a moment to share yours with the rest of us.

Service

Due to health and safety concerns, there will be no public memorial service, but we ask that you raise a glass and do some art. Dr. Avis would like that.

15 Comments

  1. Gaelynn P. Wolf Bordonaro on January 31, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Avis will be dearly missed by the art therapy community in Kansas. A longtime member of the Kansas Art Therapy Association (KATA), she inspired many, many practicing art therapists and art therapists-in-training with her creativity, energy, wit, and adventuresome spirit. Her presence was always warm and welcoming, and she never met a stranger!

  2. Margaret Wan on January 22, 2021 at 8:40 am

    I feel blessed to have known Avis. She was such a positive presence in all of our lives, full of light and love.

    Avis’ favorite singer was John Denver. I have always liked his music, but lately I think I am realizing why. So many of his songs, like “Sunshine on My Shoulders” and “Annie’s Song,” are about being truly present. Avis had the rare quality of full attention in the moment. When you talked to her, she was really and truly listening; you mattered. As a grandmother, she always knew where the kids were at and what they needed in that moment.

    Avis’ house was a magical place. It was full of joy and art and music and opportunities to explore. We all looked forward to every visit; it was one of the things we counted on every year. For many years, the trip to Kansas was like summer camp for the kids, but better. Little things like the chiminea on the back patio inspired simple joys like roasting marshmallows together. We spent many idyllic days swimming, talking, eating, laughing, and doing art. Avis would plan art projects to do together – always tie-dye t-shirts, and then every project imaginable in her limitless art studio: from letter stickers and paper rollers to sewing dolls to painting everything (including shoes). Andrew’s tie-dye t-shirts and Laura’s painted sneakers became the looks they are known for. In this way, and many deeper ways, they carry a little bit of Avis everywhere they go.

    Avis is an example in so many ways. She never let circumstances stand in the way of pursuing her dreams. She was not only a self-made, successful woman, but also a pioneer in her field of art therapy. She made time for the important things: family, friends, community, and service. Her wisdom and joy will be deeply missed.

  3. Kat Jones on January 21, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Much love and comfort to her family and all who loved her.

    Oh Avis, how I love you. I was part of the woman’s group for many years. I so enjoyed your loving Spirit and how much fun you were! Heaven has gained so much laughter and love. Thank you for everything you shared with us. I still cherish the cup and sweet little spoon you gave to me. Until we meet again.

  4. Robert Lackie on January 20, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Charming, quirky, bold and adventurous. Her determination was always on point with everything she did. I enjoyed knowing her. I also enjoyed being able to have my art therapy and counseling practice in the Allergy Link building she and Jeremy Baptist shared. She was always kind and yet had a sass that defined her and set her apart from others. She was a driving force in her efforts to gain art therapy licensure in the our KS/MO areas. I appreciated and enjoyed her friendship. I send peace and love to her family.

  5. Ginger G Chance on January 20, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Avis…..her life is a story of love. She’s the kind of healer everyone wants on their side. Once she told a group with great gusto “you are deserving…..just stamp that on your foreheads!” One could remember her words! Her love and healing essence will keep rippling through time and generations…..her name may become forgotten but her love still moving on and making a difference. Someone close to her once described “living valentines”……those who experience and brave the dark to have space on the path to keep moving toward the light. Avis, is our forever valentine!

  6. Arlene Kessell (Susan Hudgens, now) on January 19, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    She was truly a remarkable woman, living each day to the fullest. The world will miss her. Condolences to her family.

  7. Sandy Tugman on January 19, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    I loved that she would bypass the drive-thru ordering station and pull up to the window at McDonalds.

    I said, “Mom, you’re not supposed to do that,” and she responded, “Oh. I never fool with those things.”

    People, she got away with this behavior.

    • Ginger G Chance on January 20, 2021 at 10:14 am

      Yay! (your Mama a funny, earthy and mischievous valentine too!)

  8. Julie Roush on January 19, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Avis was a wonderful colleague and mentor to many young aspiring art therapists. She had a wonderful sense of humor as well exteremely creative. I always looked forward to seeing her warm, welcoming, face when I entered a room. She will be missed for so many reasons. Her laugh filled the air and brought a smile who are around her. Thanks for sharing your beloved family member with all of us for so many years.

  9. Lydian Linden on January 19, 2021 at 6:03 am

    My condolences to Jeremy, Gary, Sandy and the Bedford family.

  10. Susan Miranti on January 18, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    My funniest Avis story…we were in New Mexico and it was Easter. We got up early to go to the sunrise mass. It was down a rugged road and we had to hike a long ways. When we got back, Avis couldn’t figure out why her feet hurt so bad. She crossed her legs and put them up on an ottoman. We looked at her feet and then realized, she had her shoes on the wrong feet. In further examination, she discover her pants were on backwards. . She wondered where the pockets went. We laughed until we cried.

  11. Susan Miranti on January 18, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    My funniest Avis story…we were in New Mexico and it was Easter. We got up early to go to the sunrise mass. It was down a rugged road and we had to hike a long ways. When we got back, Avis couldn’t figure out why her feet hurt so bad. She crossed her legs and put them up on an ottoman. We looked at her feet and then realized, she had her shoes on the wrong feet. In further examination, she discover her pants wet on backwards. . She wondered where the pockets went. We laughed until we cried.

  12. Sandy Tugman on January 18, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Best mother…. ever.

    • Sue Tucker on January 21, 2021 at 8:28 pm

      This is by no means my funniest story. It is the only funny story I dare tell. It is mild, but it is so Avis! I was at her house one morning having a cup of coffee. She looked at me and said, “Sue, I have been thinking. I think if I took the wall out there It would look a lot better in the kitchen. So I asked her when she was going to get it started. I believe that that morning was her first idea about this wall. She said they are coming over this afternoon to get it done. She would see it and do it. That was So Avis!

      • Sandy Tugman on January 22, 2021 at 9:16 am

        Sue, I love this story. Mom was impulsive… with purpose. I know the wall you reference, and she was right. It opened things up, and she got a new electrical outlet in the bargain.

        She was a visionary. The beautiful villa was not always a villa. It started out as a machine shed, and when the City of Overland Park wouldn’t issue a building permit, she asked, “How do I get you to ‘yes?'” After paying $150 for the 1950s aerial photographs of the property, she got her permit.

        Now, i’s the only property in OP with TWO guest houses. She did that.



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