C.E. Bailey

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C.E. "Red" Bailey

Purvis, MS

C.E. "Red" Bailey, 80, of Beaver Lake, Purvis, passed away March 4, 2013, at Forrest General Hospital.

Born in Echola, Alabama, on January 20, 1933, Red Bailey started his working career in Mobile, Alabama with the Mobile Gas Company, where he worked for 16 years and served as a union representative. He then entered the construction field, working in Mobile and the Mississippi Gulf Coast area.

Red moved to Hattiesburg in 1974 as the production manager at Miller Picking, now known as Johnson Controls, where he retired in 1981.

In 1980 Red and Sydney Bailey purchased and restored the home of Judge John Tally in the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood. As the Tally House Bed and Breakfast, they hosted many notable guests, including Gloria Steinem, Maki Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson (Arun), "Doc" Severinsen, and Clarence Page, through the University of Southern Mississippi Honors Lecture speakers.

Red was active within the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood Association (HHNA), donating his time and talents in the restoration of 30 homes, primarily in the district, and led the efforts in the restoration of Walthall School. For several years, the Baileys hosted the annual OktoberFest at the Tally House, raising resources for HHNA projects and activities.

In 1988 former Gov. Ray Mabus appointed Red to represent Forrest County on the board of Pat Harrison Waterway District; he later served as an interim executive director, as well. Under his leadership, cabins were built in the Parks in an effort that led to their self-sufficiency.

Red was elected in 1997 to the Hattiesburg City Council, representing Ward 4. He served until 2006. During his tenure he was instrumental in many significant projects, including the renovation of the Saenger Theater, Hattiesburg Train Depot and the Hattiesburg Cultural Center. He was involved in bringing the Kohler plant to Hattiesburg, and in the early planning stages for the Lake Terrace Convention Center.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Red was active in addressing the recovery needs of the city. He worked with FEMA to secure funding for the acquisition of generators to supply power to city facilities during times of need.

Red's "claim to fame" on the national comedy scene came in 2005 when he unwittingly starred in a news spoof with Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central.

Red was an avid traveler, once attending Great Britain's Opening of Parliament by Her Majesty the Queen in 1995 as a guest of Tony Banks, House of Commons, one of Red's many diverse friends.

Red's leadership in the redevelopment of Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood (HHN) were recognized in 2011 at an awards ceremony conducted by American Planning Association representatives, who cited HHN as one of the Top Ten Great Neighborhoods in the United States.

Mr. Bailey is survived by his wife, Sydney Bailey; children, Glen (Vicki) Bailey; Glenda Bailey; Sharon (Dennis) Edwards; Kathryn (Jason) Phillips; Wanda (Steve) Brantley; Cheryl (David) Kelly; David Bailey; and foster son, Troy (Belinda) Lee.

In addition, he is survived by 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He is loved and will be missed by many.

According to Red's instructions, a party will be held at the Hattiesburg Train Depot Monday, March 18th from 5:30 - 8:00. Being of Irish decent and frequent visitor to Ireland, Red would be pleased to know this occasion will follow St. Patrick's Day. Please join us in this celebration of his life.

Red wished for his body to be donated to The University of Mississippi Medical Center. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Southern Pines Animal Shelter, Hub City Humane Society and the Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity.

Published in the Hattiesburg American on Mar. 8, 2013
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