Wendell C. Bailey, 77, passed away on April 6, 2018 in Haven Care Center following a short illness. Born, the oldest of 3 children, to Clarence G. and Esther Graham Bailey, he grew up in the Ellisville Community. He worked in the local general store owned by Willard Graham. Both his parents as well as his sister, Gloria Vining, precede him in death. He graduated from Mason School with the class of 1958.
He married his high school sweetheart, Eudine Witt Bailey, on July 4, 1958 and they settled in their home on Tustenuggee Road.
He was a lifetime steward of the earth. He worked briefly at Piedmont Mobile Home Plant before he began his dream job as a full time farmer. With Eudine by his side, they grew tobacco, corn and hay and raised cattle and hogs. Their “U Pick” vegetable garden was well known throughout North Florida.
One of Wendell’s passions was the holiday display they put up every Christmas. Wendell, Eudine and their entire family handmade many of the wooden displays. Wendell spent many hours adjusting each strand of lights. He enjoyed sitting on the front porch to watch the cars drive through just so he could hear the squeals of delight from the children.
He was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church where he served in numerous capacities including church council, financial secretary, Sunday school superintendent and many committees. He served on the Board of Columbia County Farm Bureau for over 50 years, on the Board for the USDA Farm Services for 12 years. He was also an honorary member of the Fort White FFA and Columbia County Resources. He was part of the committee to bring the Youth Livestock Show and Sale of the Columbia County Fair. He prepared many BBQ dinners for Columbia County Farm Bureau, Livestock sales, rodeo, and FFA Banquets.
He was also a founding member of the North Florida Farmer’s Coop and worked at the North Florida Livestock Market until his death.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Eudine. 2 children, Wanda (Randy) Jones and Aubrey (Kelly) Bailey, all of Lake City. His brother, Emory (Durelle) Bailey and brother in law, Freddie Vining. He was proud of his grandchildren: Bryan (Michelle) Jones, Leanne (Matt) Huesman, David (Casey) Jones, Daniel (Chrystal) Bailey, Rebecca (Clay) Paulk and Kimberly Bailey. His nephew, Stephen (Erin) Bailey: His nieces, Staci (Glen) Musgrove and Christa (Paul) Heinmuller. He is also survived by 10 great grandchildren and extended family including Michael (JJ) Pennington and Chris (Jessica) Pepper.
Visitation will be held on Monday, April 9 from 5-7 pm at Guerry Funeral Home. Funeral will be on Tuesday, April 10, 2:00 pm at Bethlehem Lutheran Church will burial in the church cemetery. Officiating the service will be Joy Bolander, Pastor of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Also assisting with the service will be Pastor John David Bryant and Butch Rhodenizer. He especially loved working with Eudine in the flower garden these last few years. As an option to flowers, donations to Bethlehem Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Aldine Feagle, 834 SE Aldine Feagle Dr., Lake City, FL 32025.