MacPherson Funeral Home, Inc. - Newark Valley
5 Whig Street
Newark Valley, NY 13811
(607) 642-5535
More Obituaries for Mary Bailey
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Mary Josephine Patch Bailey

Obituary Condolences

Mary Josephine Patch Bailey Obituary
Bailey, Mary Josephine Patch

Mary Josephine Patch Bailey was born July 5, 1920 in Berkshire, NY, the seventh of ten children of Robert C. and Miriam Payne Patch. Father R.C. was the railroad station agent in Berkshire and ran a building supply business; mother Miriam (who, in addition to her own ten children, helped raise six children from her husband's first marriage following their mother's death), placed a high value on her children's education, and their heritage as descendants of three Mayflower Pilgrims. Mary graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in home economics. She married Robert Lucius Bailey in Berkshire, NY on May 20, 1944 and they both taught school in Whitney Point, NY for many years while raising their three children. A homemaker in the best sense of the word, Mary was never far from her kitchen, sewing machine, or knitting needles. Instilled with her mother's passion for education, she delighted in sharing her expertise with others, both in and out of the classroom. She served as a judge at the Broome County Fair, taught day and evening classes at Whitney Point Central School, and her legacy of self-perfected recipes (her signature molasses cookies especially remembered by many) will be enjoyed for years to come. Mary enjoyed reading, learning, playing Scrabble, and being a wife and mother - roles she infused with much love and patience. She was a selfless, unpretentious, stoic, hard-working person, and a caring sister, daughter, neighbor, and friend. Raised a Congregationalist, she adopted her husband's religion as an adult, and was a longtime active member of Grace Episcopal Church in Whitney Point. Mary and Bob moved to Ithaca in 2005, bringing their married life full circle by returning to the city where they had lived as newlyweds. After a period of declining health in 2008, Bob preceded his beloved wife in death at age 92; she was reunited with him on December 21, 2012 at age 92. Mary is survived, and will be greatly missed, by her children, Judith Sennett (Swarthmore, PA), Margaret Nichols (Ithaca, NY), and Robert Bailey (Jacksonville, FL); grandsons, Jack and David Sennett (PA); sister, Betsey Patch Howland (Newark Valley, NY); sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Patch (Shillington, PA) and Margaret Hemink (Paramus, NJ); and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. The family would like to thank the many caregivers who extended both Mary and Bob's ability to live independently in Ithaca, and later tended to their needs at Oak Hill Manor. Also greatly appreciated are the faithful friends from Whitney Point and Grace Church who continued to keep in touch and visit regularly after Mary and Bob moved to Ithaca. Arrangements are being provided by MacPherson Funeral Home, Newark Valley (guest book at A private burial in Evergreen Cemetery, Berkshire, NY will be held at the convenience of the family, with a gathering to celebrate Mary's life next summer. In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to remember Mary is asked to consider a donation in her name to the Berkshire Free Library (P.O. Box 151, Berkshire, NY, 13736, Attn: Susan Bierl), or the Oak Hill Manor Activities Fund (602 Hudson St., Ithaca, NY 14850). Please ring a bell this holiday season for Mary, remembering the words of Zuzu Bailey at the conclusion of It's a Wonderful Life: "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his [her] wings."

Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Dec. 26, 2012
Read More
More Information