James Miner Bailey, was born Jan. 15, 1955, in Trinidad, Colo., the son of Ross Winston and Octie Ellen Hays Bailey. “Bailey” departed this world to share his wit, humor and words with the Lord on Monday, March 26, 2018.
Even as a young boy, he was a voracious worker. He was employed at the Ponca City News delivering papers and then went to work in the press room at age 15. He worked there until finishing high school.
Upon completion of high school, he attended Northern Oklahoma College, transferred to Central State University and graduated in 1977. He attended the University of Oklahoma School of Law and graduated in 1980. He joined the law firm of Northcutt, Northcutt, Clarke and Raley and later established his own private practice.
He was a steadfast rock for his family and deeply loved by his two sons, of whom he was immensely proud. Over the years Jason and Jordan were fortunate to spend plenty of boy time with their dad doing things they all three loved, including hunting, fishing and other “recreational activities.”
He had the perfect voice for storytelling and those who loved him spent hours listening to his stories, learning from his wisdom and eagerly awaiting the punch lines from his jokes. He enjoyed his bowling league, playing the guitar and boating with friends. He loved cooking, taking drives with Bella and had an uncanny knack for finishing even the most difficult crossword puzzle.
He was a longtime member and supporter of First Baptist Church and was the first person to be baptized in the new sanctuary. He was an avid reader, including his Bible and many years he read the Christmas story for his family’s Christmas Eve tradition.
He had a heart for service and was involved in many local organizations including serving as the president for the Ponca City Country Club and the Kay County Bar Association. He also served on the Board of Directors for the United Way and the American Red Cross.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his dear four-legged companion Bella. He is survived by sons, Jason and wife Jessica Webb Bailey and Jordan and wife Jamie Collyar Bailey. He was “Pops” to Hudson, Hays, Hunter, Gage and Braxton. He is survived by his sister, Gwen Seeley and husband Paul; niece, Darci Scott and husband Ian and nephew Philip Seeley and his wife Kelly and their son James and extended Merrifield family who always loved him as their very own.
A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, March 29, at First Baptist Church of Ponca City.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Falls Creek fund at the First Baptist Church, 218 S. Sixth, Ponca City OK 74601.