Lancaster-John M. Bailey, 86, of Fitch Road, died Saturday, May 25, 2013 surrounded by his loving family after a brief illness. He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Mary (Lamberto) Bailey; their children & spouses, John M. Bailey, Jr. & Helen of Littleton; Patricia M. Ney, wife of the late Garrett Ney, of Manhattan, NY; Thomas R. Bailey & Jill of Mansfield; Brian E. Bailey & Youngmi of Demarest, NJ; Ellen M. Collins & Edward of Sterling. He leaves 3 siblings, Joan Bailey of New London, CT; Philip Bailey & wife Barbara, David Bailey; sister-in-law Karen Bailey, all of Clinton; brother-in-law Roger Martin of Lowell; 9 grandchildren, Jacob & Anna Barss Bailey, Alyssa, Candice & Matthew Ney, Spencer, Andrew & Michael Bailey, Samantha Collins, numerous nieces, nephews and many dear friends. He was pre-deceased by siblings, George, Joseph, Francis, James, Brendon, Elizabeth, Marie, Paul & Thomas Bailey, Katherine Martin and Natalie Burgoyne.
John was born in Clinton to the late George F. & Elizabeth (Heagney) Bailey. He attended local schools and was a graduate of the Clinton High School Class of 1945, where he excelled in athletics prior to playing semi-pro football. John proudly served our nation as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army during WWII. He returned home to continue studies at the New England School of Accounting and Clark University before entering his life long career in finance. Mr. Bailey began employment with the former Van Brode Company in Clinton, where he became Vice President before accepting a position as Deputy State Auditor under the office of Tom Buckley. John later worked for Clinton Plastics and ultimately retired from the James River Company. Mr. Bailey held a great passion for his community and proudly served various positions within town politics. While living in Clinton he served as a member of the School Committee, and as a long time resident of Lancaster, he was elected to the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee. His passion for music began in the youth choir at St. John the Evangelist Church in Clinton, and for the last 74 years he has continued to bring comfort to countless families of the parish from that same choir loft as the lead soloist for weddings and funerals. John also served the parish as a former lector, CCD teacher, Grand Knight and 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus Clinton Council. He was a former Boy Scout Troop Leader and coach of little league baseball and youth hockey. John enjoyed consulting for the political think tank, which meets each morning at the Clinton McDonald’s. He took pleasure in acting & directing both shows and musicals with the Community Theatre, and was an avid painter who could often be found outdoors tending to his lawn, garden and flowers. John most cherished time spent in the company of his family and will be dearly missed by all who had the pleasure to have known him. Funeral services are to be held on Thursday, May 30, 2013 from the Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water St., Clinton, with a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10AM in St. John the Evangelist Church, 80 Union St., Clinton. Burial is to follow in St. John Cemetery, Lancaster. Calling hours will be held from 4 until 7PM on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in the Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water St., Clinton. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of John M. Bailey to: St. John the Evangelist Church-Restoration Fund, c/o 149 Chestnut St., Clinton, MA 01510. Online condolences may be placed at www.philbincomeaufh.com