Phillip R. “Cuz” Bailey, age 68 years, a resident of the Delwood Community, passed away Tuesday morning, February 19, 2013, at 12:15 a.m. at his home.
Mr. Bailey was born on March 20, 1944, and many knew him as Cuz. Throughout his life, he loved talking about his employment. He told family and friends about the work he did as a construction laborer, farmhand on the Franks Farms, and about the many years he spent working for Arclar Coal Co (now known as Willow Lake). The callouses on his hands were proof of his years of hard work.
Cuz was a member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers as well as a former member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (#803).
When Cuz wasn’t working to provide for his family, he loved tinkering with old lawn mowers, fishing, mowing the yard, eating catfish with family on Friday nights, and enjoying coffee with friends at the “coffee shop,” which was actually Shawnee Restaurant and Lounge.
If you visited with Cuz, he liked talking about his kids and grandkids. Then he’d change the subject to lawn mowers and other things he was working on, which he could talk about for hours. Just a few weeks before Cuz’s final days on Earth he had more to talk about when he learned in the same week that he was going to be a grandfather again, as well as a great grandfather.
Other than being remembered as a hard worker, loving dad and grandpa, many who knew Cuz will tell you he was a kind man who would help anyone. They may also recall him talking about the time he fell 20 feet while on the job and survived. He knew he was lucky, but he was a tough man, and he’d tell you, “It wasn’t my time to go.”
Cuz recovered from the fall and knee surgery, and then returned to work. He worked up until he was diagnosed with Lymphoma and Leukemia in December of 2008. He remained strong and lived longer than the doctors expected him to. Then on February 19, 2013 at 12:15am the Lord decided that it was time to take Cuz to his heavenly home, where he could live happily with no more illness, pain or suffering.
When Cuz entered his heavenly home, he was reunited with his father, Ernest Bailey; brother, Richard Gordon Bailey; his paternal grandparents, Tecumseh & Peggy Bailey; and his maternal grandparents, John & Eva Behr.
Cuz will be greatly missed by the following survivors: mother, Rita (Behr) Bailey from Eddyville, IL; children, Misti and Kevin Sandefur of the Delwood community; Matt and Christi Bailey of Harrisburg, IL; grandchildren, J.B., Joe and Cyndie Jackson; step grandchildren, Chris and Candice Sandefur; brothers and sisters, Billy and Evelyn Bailey of Vienna, IL, Jim Bailey of Anna, IL and Nancy and Mike Solomon of Vienna, IL; former wife, Pauletta (Wallace) Bailey of Harrisburg, IL.; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 23, 2013, at 1 p.m. at the Cedar Bluff Social Brethren Church, IL Route 145 North in the Delwood community. Rev. Steve Hunt will officiate. Burial will be in the New Liberty Cemetery, southeast of Eddyville. Visitation will be from 5 – 8 p.m. Friday, February 22, 2013, at the Cedar Bluff Church.
Memorials may be made to the Hospice of Southern Illinois, 204 Halfway Road, Marion, IL 62959.