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Betty Bailey

1928 - 2020
Betty Bailey Obituary
Vernon - Betty Gregory Bailey, 91, a lifelong resident of Vernon, Vermont, died peacefully on February 2, 2020 at the Vernon Green Nursing Home where she had lived for several years. She was born Betty Louise Gregory, at home, on June 20, 1928, the third daughter of Alfred and Irene (Johnson) Gregory. Betty attended the one-room North Vernon Grammar School and graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1946 before going to work for American Optical on Putney Road.

On June 15, 1951 Betty married Merle "Barney" Bailey at the Vernon Union Church, a union that would last 59 years until Barney's death in 2010. Barney and Betty settled in their home on Governor Hunt Road and had two children, Betty-Jo Bailey and Michael Bailey. No doubt in large part to Betty's fun and light-hearted nature, the Bailey house was often the hangout for the neighborhood kids in Vernon when her own children were young. Unfortunately, her daughter Betty-Jo (affectionately known as "Jo-Jo") suffered from juvenile diabetes, which greatly affected her quality of life from the time she was a toddler. Betty dedicated herself to caring for Jo-Jo until her death in 1983. The loss of their daughter would have been unbearable for Betty and Barney had it not been for their great inner strength and faith. Despite her outward happy demeanor, the pain and loss Betty felt for Jo-Jo was never far away.

In addition to caring for her husband and children, over the years Betty worked at Vernon Green Nursing Home, the Vernon School, at Vernon Hall, and at the J.E. Mann clothing store in Brattleboro.

Betty loved children and they loved her. Even in her later years, when her memory and mobility were challenged, Betty always had a smile and playful attitude when youngsters (especially her great grandchildren) were near. She reveled in memories of past times spent with her grandchildren when they were younger, whether it be when she hosted them for overnights or summer days spent together on the beach in Maine.

In addition to being with family, Betty loved spending time with friends, many of whom she had known for multiple decades. She loved music and enjoyed playing piano when she was younger. Before her health prevented it, Betty was a dedicated congregant of the Vernon Union Church and she volunteered for several organizations in Vernon, including the Vernon Historians and the Vernon Seniors. Her final years were spent at the Vernon Homes, where she enjoyed playing games and puzzling.

Betty was predeceased by her daughter, Jo-Jo, her husband, Barney, and her sisters, Virginia Gregory Pratt and Shirley Gregory Severance.

Survivors include her son, Michael Bailey and his partner Kelly Massicotte of Waterbury Center, Vermont; granddaughter Lylah Jo (Bailey) Wright and her husband Joseph Wright III of Townshend, Vermont; grandson Brian Bailey and his partner Renea Pecor of East Hardwick, Vermont; and great-grandchildren Brantley Wright, Teagan Bailey and Mia Bailey. Betty also leaves behind Lylah and Brian's mother, Deborah Martel of Vernon, Vermont and many friends, including Thelma DeOrsey, Phil Nelson, Joan Richardson and her Vernon Green family.

The family invites all who knew Betty to attend a graveside service in the spring (tentatively scheduled for Betty's birthday June 20, 2020) at the North Cemetery in Vernon. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Betty's memory to the Vernon Historians Inc. (c/o Town of Vernon, 567 Governor Hunt Road, Vernon, VT 05354), the Vernon Seniors (c/o Town of Vernon, 567 Governor Hunt Road, Vernon, VT 05354), the Vernon Union Church (2631 Fort Bridgman Road, Vernon, VT 05354), or the Recreation Fund at Vernon Homes (61 Greenway Dr., Vernon, VT 05354).

Online condolences may be made by going to the Atamaniuk Funeral Home website www.atamaniuk.com.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Feb. 8, 2020
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