Life Story Visitation
Life Story Service
A reception will follow in the Life Story Center where food, refreshments, and stories will be shared.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Galesburg United Methodist Church
111 W Battle Creek St
Galesburg, MI 49053
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A lifelong resident of the community he loved, Larry Bailey was a friend to many and a stranger to none. He left a lasting impression on everyone he met with his quick-witted humor and countless good deeds. Larry had a servant’s heart and loved taking care of his family as well as his fellow neighbors without wanting anything in return. A true family man and Good Samaritan, he will be greatly missed by his many special friends and loved ones.
Lorence was welcomed home to the family’s farm in Climax, Michigan on June 22, 1938. His birth brought great joy to his hard-working parents, Walter and Arline (Robinson) Bailey. Although his 4 siblings were much older, Lorence held each of them dear to heart and would reflect on the impact they had on his life. Stories shared included memories of his brother, Max, who passed while serving during WWII.
While in Kindergarten, he met a young girl named Samme. Little did they know then, they’d start dating in high school, and would later marry soon after graduation in 1958. His good looks and natural charm made up for his mischievous ways! Smitten with his special gal, Larry was known to walk one-hour from his house to hers each day to spend time with her. Together they raised two wonderful daughters, Aneta and Marilyn. They were indeed the apple of their daddy’s eye! Both Larry and Samme were very active in their daughters’ lives. Larry enjoyed teaching them both how to ice fish and hunt for morel mushrooms. They also spent countless hours playing badminton and croquet or collecting pop cans. He taught them the value of family and shared many happy memories together.
A strong provider, Larry drove a Greyhound bus for many years. He had a good sense of direction and remarkably never owned a GPS or needed a map! Later, he went to work for Consumers Energy from where he retired after 21 years. His favorite work though was the work he did at home in his own yard. He kept a meticulous lawn and simply loved to mow! Larry’s truck and tractor were well known around town. Every week he made sure the lawns of his family and friends were well manicured. Locals often joked that he knew every blade of grass by name! His form of Sunday worship was making sure the church lawn was maintained week to week. His truck was well equipped with lawn tools and, some days, he could be spotted giving intersections a quick trim! His neighbors knew they could count on him to help with the fall leaves, and anytime it snowed they knew Larry would be up bright and early to snow blow their driveway. His daughters and oldest granddaughter were even luckier as Larry mowed their grass every week for countless years. He modeled his love for his family not through his words, but rather through his selfless acts.
Larry held a wide variety of interests. He loved going on fishing trips to Houghton Lake and Canada with the guys, and was well stocked with ice fishing essentials. He was also famous for his extensive journaling and could reflect on the daily weather, hours mowed, the number of deer counted on his evening rides down backcountry roads, and many other details from years long past. Observant and alert, he could share what time the mail was delivered as well as the last time the snowplow came by!
As the nation was still recovering from the effects of the Great Depression during his childhood years, Larry was a collector of sorts. He kept a large supply of items in case anyone was in need which included anything from pens to eyeglass cases. All in all, Larry’s family meant the world to him. He relished in his role as Papa and would simply do anything for his grandkids. For the past fifteen years, he sent out a non-negotiable invitation for Sunday dinners. He loved to plan his menu and invite the kids and grandkids over for a delicious meal and good conversation. His family always knew they could count on him for anything. Although his strong will and determination may have appeared gruff at first, it was impossible not to like him. Larry was one of a kind and well respected by his small-town community. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, compassion and being fiercely stubborn and independent. Sadly, he is gone. May his warm memories live on eternally in the hearts of all who know and love him.
Lorence “Larry” Bailey, age 83, of Galesburg died on January 5, 2022. Larry was a veteran of the United States Air Force and was called to duty twice as a helicopter medic. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings: Max Bailey, Gordon Bailey, Kenneth Bailey, and Maxine Taylor; and brothers and sisters-in-law: Darlene (Corky) Smith and Bill (Shirley) Darrow. Surviving are his wife of 63 years, Samme; children: Aneta (Jay Griffith) Bailey and Marilyn (Craig) Bailey-Hensley; grandchildren: Cassaundra Bailey, Brendon (Annamaria) Cochran, Celsey (Adam) VanMeekeren, and Austin (fiancé Courtney Belden) Pryor; great-grandchildren: Benjamin, Avery, Alivia, Remington, and Michael; special friend and partner in crime, Dick Warner; Lucy, his dog whom he affectionately called his bug-eyed blonde girl; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. Please join us at a Life Story Service on Saturday (JAN 29) at 11 AM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Following the service, a reception will be held in the Life Story Center where food, refreshments, and stories will be shared. Visit Larry’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Interment at Fort Custer National Cemetery with Air Force honors at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Galesburg United Methodist Church.