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Clentis W. Bailey

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Clentis W. Bailey Obituary
Bailey, Clentis W., Col. USAF

Col. Clentis "Clent" W. Bailey, USAF, began his final journey to the Lord on March 31, 2016 at the age of 84. He was preceded in death by his parents, William J. Bailey and Addie Bea Bailey; his first wife, Shirley Gordon Bailey; and his son, Clentis William Bailey Jr. He is survived by his beloved wife of 33 years, Betty A. (Zoppo) Bailey; two dear sons, John G. Bailey and stepson, Lester A. Bingaman III and his wife, Cynthia Bingaman, Harrogate, TN; grandchildren, Abbey Bingaman and Tsumi Bailey; great-granddaughters, Ember Kalani and Sofi, Maui, HI; brother, Terence "Ted" Bailey and his wife, Linda Bailey from Little Rock, AR; and nephews, Kerry L. Bailey and wife, DeeDee and Michael Bailey and wife, Theresa.

Clent was born in Kosciusko, MS but grew up in the small town of D'Lo, MS where he developed a lifelong love of the outdoors and at every opportunity was hunting and fishing with his friends. He graduated from D'Lo High School in three years, attended Holmes Jr. College and graduated with honors from Mississippi State University with a degree in Civil Engineering. He was selected for membership in Tau Beta Pi an Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. He later earned a master's degree in business from George Washington University.

For a time he was employed as a structural engineer for the Boeing Company and the Illinois Central Railroad. He received a direct appointment from civilian life as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and entered service in 1953. For about half of his Air Force career he was assigned to a very select, highly classified Air Force organization with world wide responsibilities. He was involved in many programs of great national and international significance requiring extensive travel throughout the world. With this organization he had assignments in Australia, Wyoming, Germany, and Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the Air Force's Air Command and Staff College (1964) and Air War College (1971). During 1971 â€" 72, he was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam where he worked directly with senior officials of various U.S. agencies and officers of the Army of Vietnam. Following Vietnam he assumed command of a radar evaluation squadron at Hill AFB, UT, where he directed the testing of major communications, reconnaissance, and space programs. Upon his retirement in August 1983 after 30 years of service, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. His other military awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, AF Commendation Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award with six Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon with Six Oak Leaf Clusters.

After retirement he maintained close contact with his many friends, both officer and enlisted, he acquired over the years. He was a life long member of the Shriners, and in recent years, Ballut Abyad NM Shrine Temple. He also loved playing tennis, skiing, gold panning, gardening, and growing his favorite peaches and tomatoes.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, April 9, 2016, 1:00 p.m. at FRENCH â€" Lomas. Military Honor Service will follow at Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul Blvd NE. Cremation will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family of asking donations be made to the Make a Wish Foundation of NM, 144 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108 or , Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Please visit our online guestbook for Clent at www.frenchfunerals.com.

FRENCH - Lomas

10500 Lomas Blvd. NE

(505) 275-3500
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 8, 2016
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