George Weldon Bailey, 80, of Natchitoches, Louisiana, passed away after a lengthy illness on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 in Minden, Louisiana, at the Town and Country Nursing Center.
George was born January 9, 1932 in Natchitoches. He graduated from Natchitoches Public High School in 1950 and was among the first group of students to complete the twelfth grade in order to receive a diploma. He attended Northwestern State College, earning a bachelor’s degree in social studies in 1958. He also pursued graduate studies at Northwestern.
He served as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, serving at Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort Mead in Maryland. Following his military service, he taught school in a number of towns in Louisiana and Texas. He later owned and operated several businesses in Campti, Louisiana, before returning to Natchitoches. In his later years, he owned and took pride in caring for Fern Park Cemetery on Texas Street.
He was preceded in death by his father George Christopher Bailey; mother Maria Dawson Bailey; stepmother Ruth Wallet Bailey; stepdaughter Kimberly Ann Moore; and sister Christine Bailey Mouton.
George is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years Bennie Day Bailey; his son Clint Bailey and his wife Christy of Shreveport; his daughter Chrissey Bailey Henry and her husband J.M.”Joe” Henry III of Natchitoches; four grandchildren: Bailey Elizabeth Henry, Carson Davis Bailey, Joseph Marion Henry IV, and Kathryn Elizabeth Bailey; his sister Maggie Dean Collins of Pineville, Louisiana; his brother Jerry Wayne Bailey of Houston, Texas, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In his spare time, George enjoyed reading and writing short stories, essays, and poetry. He would often entertain his friends by reciting a poem he had just written. His book of original poems, In a Poet’s Life, was published in2009. He regarded his poetry as one of his greatest accomplishments. In his poem “Writers,” he noted: “Poor writers write with hands,/ Good writers write with minds,/ Great writers write with heart,/ And then there are the very few/Who write with blood from their souls.” None of his friends doubted that George fell in the last category.
George was an intense individual with an enormous zest for life. He employed his droll sense of humor to lift his friends’ spirits. He was proud of his many years of active service in Alcoholics Anonymous, working diligently to help others maintain their sobriety. He took great delight in his grandchildren. He was a seeker, always in pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. His friends regarded him as a unique individual, full of surprises but always willing to lend a helping hand in times of need. Wanting to be of service to others even after death, he donated his body to LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport for purposes of medical research.
A memorial service will be held in his honor at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches on Sunday, April15. Visitation begins at 12:00 noon, followed by the service at 2:00 p.m.
His family wishes to thank Town and Country Nursing Center and Agape Hospice Group both in Minden, Louisiana, and Shreveport oncologist Dr. Timothy Lian for all of their gracious comfort and support.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in George’s name may be made to the NSU Alumni Foundation.