Benjamin "Ben" Alexander-Wheeler Bailey December 2, 1986 - December 31, 2009 Mid afternoon on New Years Eve Ben passed away at home in the loving arms of his dad, Tom, with mother, Brenda and sister, Ashley at his side. After waging a courageous battle against cancer Ben left this world with grace and dignity. Ben was born in Hayward, CA but called Red Bluff, CA his home. Ben loved the open space of Red Bluff and the many animals that offered hours of entertainment. Ben moved to Bakersfield in 1997. Ben had a passion for his computers, collecting every kind of sword, dagger and knife, thrived on World of Warcraft not to mention being a movie buff. Ben was also a black belt in Jujitsu. Ben was a rare combination of cynic and gracious forgiveness. Ben never passed up the opportunity for adventure and relished his time spent in Cayucos boogie boarding, getting lost in town with his cousins or skydiving for Father's day with his dad. He always liked to stop by Brad's for a bite when he was on the coast. Ben liked his time spent on the San Francisco Bay, shopping all the knife stores in China Town. Ben was a profound lover of books of any kind and was an expert of Greek Mythology. He and his sister, Ashley, spent many hours at Starbuck's reading over a cup of coffee. Ben had worked at Barnes and Noble for three years prior to his illness. While working he was also attending college to obtain his degree in Graphic Design. His goal was to work for one of the power houses in computer generated imagery. He collected Anime and looked forward to the Anime conventions that he attended in Idaho as well as the many road trips across the country that he took with his dad. One of Ben's requests after being diagnosed was to spend some time at Bass Lake. He'd been going to Bass Lake on family vacations every year since he was able to walk. It was a haven, he could find a stick to carve and walk the trails around the lake all day. It was truly one of his favorite spots for the family to vacation. Ben always looked forward to time spent at family gatherings. Ben never got over the excitement of the Christmas holidays, he had such a giving spirit. Ben never met a stranger and had the heart and soul of a truly gentle keeper of the earth. It is not surprising that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified. He always placed the comfort of others above that of his own. Ben is survived by his parents, Tom and Brenda Bailey, and his loving sister, Ashley Bailey. Grandparents, Sam and Eva Bailey of Taft, CA and Bob and Ann Mead of Antioch, CA. Aunts and Uncles Jerry and Jackie Peavyhouse of Taft, Sam and Sandra Bailey of Santa Maria, Linda Ruyters of Sacramento, CA, Bob and Arle Mead of Concord, CA, Cindy Siegfried of Antioch, CA as well as numerous cousins, great aunts and uncles. He is loved and thought of constantly with not a day going by that we don't wonder just what he's up to and hearing him say, "mom, I'm fine". Memorial service will be held at Greenlawn Southwest Memorial Chapel, 2739 Panama Lane, Friday, January 8, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. A reception will be held at Ben's home following the service. Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary www.bakersfield.com
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Published in Bakersfield Californian from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, 2010