Ralph Clyde Bailey

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Dr. Ralph Clyde Bailey, 89, died peacefully on the evening of Wednesday, March 12, 2014. He was a dedicated physician, a loving husband and father, and a longtime resident of Nacogdoches. A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at his daughter, Cynthia's home, "Wilderhill," just outside Nacogdoches. Ralph was born Feb. 1, 1925, to Clyde and Mabel (Blackstock) Bailey of Gatesville, where he was raised and received his early education. He earned his undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans on the V-12 Navy College Training Program. While there, he met and married Eva Dunbar, to whom he remained happily married for 65 years. After serving in the Navy as a doctor on a troop ship during the Korean War, he studied anthropology at Harvard, and then undertook a medical residency in Jacksonville. Afterwards, to satisfy his desire to see the world, he spent two years working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Afghanistan, five years working for Morton Salt Company on Great Inaqua Island in the Bahamas, and four years with the Indian Health Service in Nespelem, Wash., and Talihina, Okla. While in the Bahamas, he liked to brag that he was the best doctor for a hundred miles in any direction. Coincidentally, he was also the only doctor for a hundred miles in any direction. Returning to Texas, he settled in Nacogdoches, where he ran the student health clinic at Stephen F. Austin University for many years before taking over a family medical practice located next to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. When he sold that practice, he and Eva moved out to his family's historic farm near Pearl, where the lived until returning to Nacogdoches in 2010. The farm was near and dear to Ralph's heart. He was fond of quoting his great-great-grandfather as saying the Baileys paid two Mexican land-grant owners for the property in gold, and then still had to take it from the Indians. Ralph always claimed that his most significant contribution to the betterment of humanity was when he and another doctor took a thermos full of polio vaccine into rural Afghanistan and vaccinated several thousand locals. Ralph always loved travel and the outdoors. He helped organize two Boy Scout troops (of which his son was a member), and led a variety of Boy Scout outings. During his time in the Bahamas, when he was required by that country's laws to return to the U.S. for six weeks out of the year, he enjoyed taking his family on extended camping trips across America, taking advantage of our nation's many national parks. Ralph was a free-thinker, descended from at least three generations of agnostics and atheists. He was instrumental in founding the Unitarian-Universalist fellowship in Nacogdoches (now located in Lufkin). In addition to his wife, Eva, Ralph is survived by their three children, Clyde Bailey and wife, Patricia Keightley, of Little Rock, Ark, Ilse Bailey and husband, Dr. Alton Graham, of San Antonio, and Cindy Grayson of Nacogdoches. He also leaves four grandchildren, Joshua Fisher and Robert Fisher of Nacogdoches, Galen Graham, also of Nacogdoches and Eva Graham of Austin, as well as an adopted great-granddaughter, Amie Grayson. In lieu of flowers, you are invited to make a donation in Ralph's memory to a .
Published in The Daily Sentinel on Mar. 19, 2014
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