Robert (Bob) Stanley Dawson Bailey, fondly known to many as Papa, passed peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family, in Bellingham, Washington on Wednesday, September 23rd at 81 years old.
Bob was born in Hereford, Texas to Fred and Jewell Bailey on September 19, 1939. He graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas. He was married to Helen Beth and raised their three children, John Robert, Karen Elizabeth, and Fred Allan in Crowley, Texas. While raising his family, he worked various jobs, including owning and operating an auto repair shop for import motors, such as Porsches and Jaguars, and an oil well service company, Gearhart-Owen Industries.
In 1985, he relocated to Bellingham, Washington to start a new life with his future wife, Mary Kay and her two children, Terri and Ken. They were married on October 12, 1985 on the beach at Larrabee State Park. Bob was a man of many talents. He started his career in Bellingham, at Bayco Construction, spent several summers fishing in Alaska, built boats at Growler Boat Works, and eventually owned his own business, Bailey Building Maintenance, where he contracted small remodels and repairs.
Bob was an extremely creative, talented, and inventive man. He was dubbed by many who knew him as “The Renaissance Man” for his constant abilities to turn recycled items into gorgeous artwork, landscaping, and building projects. Bob spent his time dreaming of his next creation, which often included his love of cars, wood carving, gardening (especially weeding), and inventive construction. Many know this to be true by looking at his home, where he built rockery out of broken concrete, a greenhouse out of recycled glass, a garden shed from recycled materials from Bunk’s Drive-In, a mosaic side yard made out of the brick from Railroad Avenue, and so much more. Bob also had a deep love and appreciation for nature. So much so, that he and Mary Kay lived out their dream at their remote cabin in Penny, B.C. on 100 acres of an old lumber mill town. It was their summer escape for 30+ years, with no running water or electricity, a wood stove, endless friendships made with their neighbors, and precious memories with their family.
Bob will forever be remembered as one of the kindest men on Earth for his warm smile with a twinkle in his eye, his sense of humor, his slow Texas drawl, and his infamous, “Yes ma’am.” He will be greatly missed.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents Fred and Jewell Bailey, sister, Bonnie Vandergriff, and son, John Robert Bailey. He is survived by the love of his life, Mary Kay Bailey, his children, Karen (Doug) Sheldon, Fred Allan Bailey, Terri (Mike) Brown, Ken (Stacy) Asp, daughter-in-law Carol Bailey, sister, Alma Dell Honea, grandchildren Josh Bailey, Kody Asp, Hayden Brown, Rylie Brown, Kennedy Asp, and his precious pup, Sophie. A private memorial will be held with family later in the year.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Whatcom Hospice Foundation.