Born in Williamsport, PA in 1951 to parents Edward and Fannie Bailey. He graduated from Williamsport High School in 1969. In 1970 Jim enlisted in the Army as a fuels specialist and spent the next 21 years moving around the world, including time served overseas during the Vietnam War. He arrived in Delta Jct in 1985 to work at Ft. Greely. In 1990 he retired from active duty. He spent a few years in Anchorage and Fairbanks working in fuels at the airports. In 1998 he moved back to Delta Jct working first at Outdoor Rec on Ft Greely. When Ft Greely was closed he was administrator at the Moose Lodge and worked part time driving bus and doing janitorial work at the high school. In 2003 he started working at Ft Greely again at the fuel distribution center where he has been ever since. He loved to tell people that he “Passed Gas” for a living.
Jim was a great family man and loving father and grandfather. Jim’s grandchildren were the light of his life. He was extremely proud of his son Eric who is a Major in the Air Force. Jim’s spare time was spent (as all the locals know) at the steakhouse drinking coffee. He is known to bus tables and wash dishes when the waitresses were busy. Jim loved to alter pictures on his computer. He had great fun cutting and pasting and messing with them so they looked like something other than what they were. He spent many years making posters and paintings. He painted all the signs for Sue’s business directing her clients where to go to get to her office. The Buffalo Wallow was the state’s largest square dance and he made banners for the them for over 20 years. He square and round danced with the best of them for many years and he loved to two step and waltz.
Jim is survived by his wife Sue Heller-Bailey, of Delta Jct.; son Eric (Windy) Bailey of Colorado Springs; step-children Chad (Christine) Heller of Glennallen, Wade Heller (Annie) of Delta Jct, and Angie Heller of Albuquerque; Grandchildren Trevor Bailey of Colorado Springs; Jessie and Ashley Heller of Delta Jct and Mason Heller of Glennallen; Sisters Pat King and Sandy (Ray) Rhea and brother Rick Bailey of Williamsport, PA; 15 nieces and nephews 25 great nieces and nephews from across the United States.
A memorial service is scheduled for 5 p.m. on October 22 at the Alaskan Steakhouse in the banquet room with a reception immediately following. There will be coffee (of course) and guests are welcome to bring a side dish to share if they wish. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Jim’s life the way he would have wanted us to. Acacia Floral will be in charge of all flowers.