Barbara Ann Bailey, age 83, of Janesville died on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at Our House Memory Care in Janesville. She was born in Fond du Lac, WI on March 28, 1934 the daughter of the late Milton and Pauline “Lela” (Heimbichner) Smith. On June 20, 1953, she married Ardeth D. Bailey and together they had five children. Barbara graduated from Janesville High School in 1952 and over the years, she has worked at Janesville Community Day Care, Milton Lawns Cemetery and retired after 20 years as a receptionist at Mercy Hospital.
Barbara’s family and giving back to the community was very important to Barbara. She volunteered as a Sunday school teacher at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, a boy scout leader and girl scout leader, helping with the Mercy Hospital Charity Ball, where she was known for her homemade pies. Her passion though, was volunteering with the YWCA, where she was instrumental in forming the call-in hotline for Women Under Domestic Abuse.
Barbara enjoyed traveling to Colorado and Door County, big band music, dancing, golf, tennis, cooking, and baking her famous pies. She also was an avid sports fan, following the WI Badgers and Green Bay Packers. She was a great cheerleader for her grandchildren’s sports activities, always supporting them in their school and after school activities. She was also a bird watcher, and especially fond of watching the cardinals that were in her yard. Barbara was an amazing and classy woman, who was very kind, compassionate, and a friend to everyone. Her infectious smile and selflessness will be missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by her children: Dr. Jeff (Doreen) Bailey of Fitchburg, WI and their children: Lindsay Bailey, Gerald (Becky) Bailey, and Kyle (Samantha) Bailey; Jill (Geno) Ayres of Janesville and their children: Anthony (Abbie) Ayres, Michael (Tatam) Ayres, and Abbey (Michael) Marquette; Jennifer Bailey of Highlands Ranch, CO; Jeanna (Arthur) Niles of Janesville and their children: Nicholas (Brittany Beggs) Niles, Cassandra (Justin Murphy) Niles, and Katherine (Dustin) Thompson; and John (Jenni) Bailey of Janesville and their children: Keaton Bailey and Finley Bailey.
She is further survived by her eleven great grandchildren who she was very fond of and one on the way: Madison, CJ, Sabrina, Jeffrey, Ryker, Petula, Brekkyn, Lakynn, Jackson, Jack, Ava, and baby Thompson due in June. She is further survived by her brother: James Smith of Beaver Dam, WI; several nieces, nephews, other relatives, and her many close and dear friends. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her former husband: Ardeth D. Bailey.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at the Whitcomb – Lynch Funeral Home with Chaplain James Wehrheim officiating. Visitation will be on Monday from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Whitcomb – Lynch Funeral Home and again on Tuesday morning from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at the funeral home. Memorials would be greatly appreciated if they were made in Barbara’s name to, YWCA Rock County, 1735 S. Washington St., Janesville, WI 53546.
A very warm and heartfelt thank you to all of mom’s caregivers over the years, the wonderful staff at Our House Memory Care, and the doctors and staff at Mercyhealth at Home Hospice. We were truly blessed with the compassion, care and support given to Barbara and her family during her final journey. Thank you!