Suzanne Ludey Bayley was born April 14, 1920 in Parkersburg, daughter of the late Charles Addison Ludey and Patty Spence Ludey. She attended Wood County Schools, Gunston Hall, Washington, DC, and Finch College, NY, where she was a theatre major. She spent 2 summers of stock for the Rollins Studio for John Drew Theatre, East Hampton Long Island prior to marriage in 1942 to the late Thomas Way Bayley, Jr. She and her husband resided in Los Angeles and Fayetteville, NC during World War II, returning to Parkersburg in 1946. They joined St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, where all 3 children were baptized, and remained there until they built a home and moved to Vienna in 1956. They attended St. Michaels Catholic Church and served on the building committee for the new worship center. After Mr. Bayley's death in 1996, the family home was sold and Mrs. Bayley returned to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church.
She had designed and established the "Children's Theatre Bureau" through the Jr. League with the assistance of the Principals and the Superintendent of Schools in 1948 which continued almost 30 years.
She joined the Parkersburg Actors Guild in 1956 and served actively for 25 years as a director, actress, its first woman president and co-chairman for the purchase and renovation of the present Eighth Street Theatre. The Guild named their perpetual community award the Bayley Award. She served on the steering committee for the Fine Arts Council in 1966 and again in 1985 through 1986 on the Cultural Action plan expanding this into Artsbridge which now serves Wood and Washington Counties. She served on this Board for 8 years.
She was appointed by Governor Arch Moore to the Blennerhassett Commission in 1986. She served on the Commission for 3 years and was part of the organizing committee and first vice president of the "Friends", as well as a Docent on the Island from 1988 through 1992. She later served on the Blennerhassett Foundation.
She was the executive director for the original production of "Eden on the River" on Blennerhassett Island. In 1987, she received the Visionary of the Year Award from Artsbridge for this work.
In 1992 she received the YWCA/Altrusa WEALTH Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 1996 she received the Cosgrove Award for achievement in the field of arts from Finch College. In 1999, she was one of three finalists nominated for the WV State Arts Patron of the Year. She was a member of the National Society of Arts and Letters and is listed in "Who's Who of American Women." She was inducted into the OCTA (Ohio Community Theatre Association) Hall of Fame in September of 2007. A member of the Serra Club through her Church, she received an appreciation plaque from the Club for service rendered, also in 2007. In 2009, the Actor's Guild dedicated their theatre to Suzanne as the "Suzanne L. Bayley" Theatre.
Suzanne passed away in June of 2010. In her estate, she left a gift to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation to create an unrestricted fund, the Suzanne L. Bayley Memorial Fund, which provides grantmaking support to our region's most pressing needs and opportunities.