Shirley Bailey (1920 - 2014)

  • "You told me I'd never be able to go into Music, because I..."
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  • "Mrs. Bailey was always a kind and sweet woman. I've known..."
    - Ryan Fitch
  • "Shirley, a very sweet, sweet, friend that will be missed by..."
    - Bernie Traiteur
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Shirley Bailey

Shirley M. Bailey, nee Bergman, of Belleville, Ill., born Wednesday, August 4, 1920, in Belleville, Ill., died Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 at Four Fountains Convalescent Center in Belleville, Ill.

Shirley attended local elementary schools and graduated from Belleville Township High School. She received a bachelor's degree from McKendree College where she became the first freshman student to be honored as the homecoming queen. She was named in "Who's Who In American Colleges and Universities". Mrs. Bailey did graduate study at both Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses of SIU as well as Arizona State University at Tempe, Ariz. Following her college career Mrs. Bailey taught in Belleville School District 118 for 29 years until her retirement.

She was an accomplished musician and taught voice and piano at St. Clair Music Studios in Belleville. She was a lyric soprano and performed twice as a soloist with the Belleville Philharmonic Society and other area music productions. She served as a regular soloist for the First Church of Christ Scientist, Divine Science and St. Paul United Church of Christ and various Methodist churches in Southern Illinois. Mrs. Bailey was a member of St. Matthew United Church of Belleville.

Following retirement, Mrs. Bailey became an active board member and a life member of the St. Clair County Historical Society where she served as exhibit manager and curator of period clothing and apparel; she was one of the models in the Society's style shows. She was recipient of the Historical Society's Betty Hackman Award.

She was an active member of the following organizations, Koerner Klub, Koerner House Restoration Committee, Belleville Area Humane Society, board member, Visitors Center and Labor Industrial Museum of Belleville, Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Life Member, serving as hostess at the surgical desk, Harmony Shrine No. 112 WSJ, and Life Member Queen City Chapter No. 697 O.E.S., Fairview Heights.

She was an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a national honorary society for teachers, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, McKendree Chapter, Epsilon Sigma Alpha and Sigma Delta Kappa, a literary society.

Mrs. Bailey served as a board member of McKendree College Alumni Association and was an honorary member as well. She received the Loyal Service Award from McKendree College. Mrs. Bailey was one of the donors to McKendree University's new Performing Arts Building "The Hett".

When the circumstances of the world brought stress, she often repeated these words, "God Will Take Care of Me".

She was preceded in death by her husband, William C. "Bill" Bailey whom she married on August 22, 1953, and who died Nov. 16, 2000; parents, John H. and Minnie, nee Nuetzel, Bergman; and brothers, Virgil Bergman and Cletus Bergman of Belleville.

Shirley was a loyal friend to many and made a ritual of scheduling time with each one, bringing joy and laughter to these relationships. Special friends she has known since their teen years are Retired Chief of Police, South County, Mo. Tim Fitch and Miss Linda Raynes of St. Louis, Mo.

Memorials may be made to the McKendree University Music or Science Departments, Belleville Area Historical Society, Belleville Area Humane Society or St. Matthew United Methodist Church. Condolences may be expressed online at

Visitation: Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014 at St. Matthew United Methodist Church 1200 Moreland Drive, Belleville, Ill.

Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014 at St. Matthew United Methodist Church, with Rev. Larry Patton, Rev. James Slone and Rev. Robert Souders officiating. Interment will follow at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, Ill.

Funeral Home
Kurrus Funeral Home
1773 Frank Scott Pkwy W Belleville, IL 62223
(618) 235-2100
Funeral Home Details
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1, 2014
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