Mack Woodard Bailey Jr.
1931 - 2021
{ "" }
Share
Share Mack's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Mack Woodard Bailey, Jr.
June 19, 1931 - January 22, 2021
Lexington, Kentucky - Mack Woodard Bailey, Jr. 89, died on January 22, 2021. Mack was well known in Lexington and surrounding counties, due to his teaching career and business pursuits, as well as his larger than life and winning personality.
Born in Manhattan, where he grew up, he would recall helping his grandfather with one of the Christian missions in The Bowery when he was ten, and helping his father work in construction in his teen years. When he was of age for the Army, he served in Korea with high distinction. After that, he enrolled in Asbury College and graduated four years later married to fellow student Nancy Kathryn Tolson, known thereafter as Katy Bailey. Moving to Lexington, Mack finished a Master's degree in Anthropology, and began a storied teaching career. Mack taught at Lafayette Jr., Sayre School, Hamilton Hall, the University of Kentucky, and after retiring, taught in a middle school in Las Vegas. Wherever he taught, he proved to be a favorite teacher, and most memorable to alumni. He was legendary among Sayre alumni, and in recent years, alumni of Hamilton Hall honored Mack with a banquet naming him most favorite teacher. He was at times a teacher of math, science, biology and anthropology. At UK he taught Physical Anthropology and Osteometric Techniques.
Mack's avocation was showing dogs competitively, specializing in Dobermans and later Bull Mastiffs and bringing home many awards. He opened a kennel near his home on Parkers Mill Road in the 60's called the Bluegrass Doberman Center. In 1969, Mack and Katy launched Bailey's Carpet Barn which proved to be successful. Over the years, Mack also developed several construction companies and real estate ventures, as well as having a small grocery store, a hardware store, a fencing company, a TV and appliance business, and a bell pepper growing business. Mack, along with Earl Oremus, joined Tom Grunwald's Wilderness Canoe Base, which took students and young adults to Canada for extended outdoors adventure.
Mack greeted each day proclaiming "What a great day to be alive!" He would end conversations with a boisterous "Be happy!" Mack was well read, and was as comfortable with Scientific American and Psychology Today, as he was with the Smithsonian and education journals. His work ethic was phenomenal and his optimism contagious. There was nothing Mack couldn't do, wouldn't do, or figure out how to do. His name for his Bull Mastiff kennel was "Kandoo," which conveys his basic attitude.
He and Katy traveled the world, riding camels in Egypt, and climbing pyramids there, visiting landmarks in Greece, rafting in Colorado, riding mules into the Grand Canyon, and studying carpet in India. Katy died in 2012, after 59 years of marriage.
Mack is survived by his 3 children, 2 brothers, a sister and a gaggle of grandchildren and great grandchildren whom he adored. In respect of the pandemic, there will be no public services. A private service for family is planned.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on Jan. 31, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Lexington Herald-Leader
Not sure what to say?
7 entries
February 7, 2021
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Janet Fulmer Johnson
February 6, 2021
What a unique individual and wonderful teacher. I doubt anyone who was a 7th grader at Hamilton Hall will ever forget the experience. I remember Mr. Bailey kindly but unrelentingly kidding me the Monday morning after my family accidentally visited his church on a Sunday instead of the Baptist church it shared a parking lot with ... saying “Ramey went to the wrong church! Ramey went to the wrong church!” He will always be a favorite teacher in my memory because he treated us young kids like real people ... or perhaps we were an anthropological study
Rest In Peace Mack with God’s grace.

Joyce Ramey Bryan
Joyce Bryan
Student
February 4, 2021
I am so sorry to read of Mack's demise. He and Katy were very helpful to me and my family during the '70's. We bought our first Dobermann from him My first wife worked for him in the kennels for awhile and he gave us another Dobe that was having difficulty. I worked for him laying carpet and putting up chain link fence during a period of unemployment some years later. He was a great inspiration and a primary reason I eventually finished my PhD in Geology at UK. I often passed the Carpet Barn commuting to Frankfort and always remember them fondly. Thank you both for all your help and sage advice.

I'm sure God holds you both safely in His arms forevermore.
Tom Griswold
Friend
February 1, 2021
I had Mr. Bailey for Math and Science (and more) in 7th grade at Hamilton Hall. He was, without a doubt, the best teacher I had from First Grade through Law School. That year gave me a huge head start to build on in all that was to follow at Lafayette, Engineering School at Vanderbilt, Duke Law School and a career as an employee benefits attorney. In addition to the subject matter and method of learning, I appreciated his respect for us as students and the independence he he gave us explore and learn while providing guidance if we got out of line. I still have fond memories of hearing Mr. Bailey holler at me across the room "Berry, park your carcass"! He will surely be missed.
JW Berry
Student
February 1, 2021
Mr. Bailey was one of my favorite teachers. What a year we all had as 7th graders at Hamilton Hall! Somehow he arranged for us to take the Intro to Anthropology course at UK. He loved to brag that we were outperforming a the students at UK. His enthusiasm for that subject was contagious. He made learning fun. For math he invented town of Baileyville. We set up the town in the cafeteria and pay our bills, invest our money, etc. Reading his obituary, I'm delighted to see what a full life he had. He certainly loved life, loved people. He obviously made a lasting impression on all of us.
Janet Fulmer Johnson
Student
January 31, 2021
Without a doubt, my favorite teacher. And I had many good ones. So sad to hear of his passing. I know the family must be extraordinarily sad to lose him. Such a wonderful person.
Janet M Riggs
Student
January 31, 2021
Mr. Bailey was my favorite teacher. I had him for Math and Science at Hamilton Hall. I loved our anthropology classes that we watched on tv in the cafeteria. We even took the same tests as the UK students. Because of him, I ended up teaching 7th/8th grade science for 31 years. He was an outstanding teacher and a wonderful person. I’m so sorry I just missed seeing him at our 50th reunion. I know he will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Shelley Cornett Latta
Student
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences