Ray Bedford Bailey, born in Marshall, Texas, on the 11th of March 1942, died in Houston, his home of 45 years, on Monday, the 10th of December 2012, after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. His wife, Peggy, and his children, Cope and Claire, were at his side.|
Raised on a dairy farm outside Marshall, his parents had stressed the value of education and hard work from birth, and Ray discovered and was encouraged in his love for design at an early age. In 1966, Ray earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree with High Honors from the University of Texas at Austin and received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Student Medal for Excellence in Architecture. He received a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967. Ray was named a Fulbright Alternate, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark, and was awarded several other academic honors during his university years.
Upon moving to Houston in 1967, Ray joined Caudill Rowlett & Scott for four years, was later a principal at Omni Plan, Houston, and in 1975 founded Ray Bailey Architects, Inc., today known as Bailey Architects. Ray served as CEO of his firm until his death. During his long tenure, the firm won 65 design awards for a range of diverse projects, including religious, institutional, educational and historic restoration, with a specialty in libraries. Notable projects include St. Anne Catholic Church sanctuary renovation, the John P. McGovern Stella Link Branch Library and the recently completed University of Houston Health and Biomedical Sciences Center. In 2001, Bailey Architects was named Firm of the Year by the Texas Society of Architects (TSA) and Firm of the Year by the Houston AIA Chapter. Bailey Architects was awarded the 2006 Award of Excellence in Historic Architecture by the Texas Historical Commission. Ray held great appreciation for his fellow Bailey Architects members and for his mentors.
In 1985, at the age of 43, Ray was named a Fellow of the AIA for excellence in design and service to his profession. Ray served as president of the Houston AIA Chapter in 1985 and as president of TSA during its 50th anniversary year in 1989. He was particularly proud of having helped secure passage of the "Practice Act" that year, which regulates the practice of architecture by those recognized by the State as qualified to do so. Ray was founding president of The Architecture Center Houston Foundation, which is a catalyst for public understanding and interest in architecture and urban design. In 2010, Ray was awarded the TSA Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Honor of Llewellyn Pitts, the Society's highest honor. He was one of 28 Texas AIA Fellows asked to contribute his story to a forthcoming publication, on all Fellows from Texas.
Having grown up on a farm, Ray had a lifelong connection with nature and the outdoors; he was a dedicated hunter and had traveled worldwide in pursuit of his passion. Also strongly committed to wildlife conservation, he was very active in The Houston Safari Club, serving as its president during the 1990's, and with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Operation Game Thief, serving as its chairman from 2003 - 2007. Ray was also Chairman-Elect of The Lighthouse of Houston. He was a member of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church and River Oaks Country Club.
Ray's happiest times were spent with Peggy and their yellow lab, Abbey, at his beloved Kakuli Creek Ranch near Bellville, Texas, enjoying their restored 1860's house. In recent years, they had spent virtually every weekend at the ranch, often joined by their children, grandchildren and closest friends. At Kakuli Creek, Ray expanded his interests to raising Black Angus cattle and managing a working ranch.
Ray is predeceased by his parents, Naomi Ray and PB Bailey. He is survived by his devoted wife of 49 years, Margaret "Peggy" Cope Bailey, who was his lifelong love, best friend and true partner; his son, Cope, and wife, Belinda, and their twins, Aidan and Emma of Houston; his daughter, Claire Fitterer, her husband, Zane, and their two children, Grace and Bedford of Seattle, Washington; by his sister, Angela Swint and her husband, Bob, and their three daughters and families; by his brother, Robert, of Longview, Texas; and by his brother-in-law, Lewis Cope, and his wife, Betty, and their three daughters and families.
Ray's family wishes to thank the extraordinary medical team at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for their compassionate care.
A memorial service is to be conducted at one o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 14th of December, at the Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, where The Rev. Laurens A. Hall, D. D., Rector, and Dr. Tom Pace, Senior Pastor of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, are to officiate. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent Sumners Hall.
Prior to the service, the family will have gathered for a private interment at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests that those desiring direct donations in Ray's memory to The Lighthouse of Houston, 3602 West Dallas St., Houston, TX, 77019; or to the
Published in Houston Chronicle from Dec. 12 to Dec. 13, 2012