Lily Bailey

Lily Bailey, 98, of Lawrence, Kansas, died Thursday, December 31, 2015 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital after a short illness. Her son, Victor, and daughter-in-law, Ann-Kathryn were at her side.

Lily was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England on November 3, 1917, the daughter of Frank and Lily Meadows. Her father was a mason employed by the local colliery to build homes for miners. Lily was one of six children, five girls and one boy. She grew up in the Primitive Methodist faith. At 14 years of age, she and sister Phyllis went into domestic service, but so disliked their servitude that they ran away. They were then sent to Keighley, Yorkshire, fifty miles away, to work in a woolen textile mill, living in an attached hostel for women. She earned 20 shillings a week, and paid 19 shillings and sixpence for room and board. It was there, on the dance floor, that Lily met her husband Fred, a painter and decorator. Their daughter Pauline was born as war broke out, and Lily took care of her singlehandedly for five years while Fred served as a tank commander in the Eighth Army in North Africa and Italy.

Lily was a millworker until the age of 60, yet always ran the home with love and laughter. She was a resilient and optimistic soul, with a quiet simplicity, who laughed readily, quite against the grain of the dour Yorkshire archetype. Throughout her life, she was a truly accomplished seamstress and knitter. Family was everything to her. She thought the world of her granddaughter and great-grandchildren, and lovingly assisted their growth. They carry forward her life spirit.

In 2001, aged 83, she took the bold decision to move to Lawrence, Kansas, at the invitation of her son and daughter-in-law. She became a fixture of social events at the Hall Center for the Humanities, where she especially enjoyed dancing to the Chuck Berg trio.

Surviving family members include her daughter, Pauline Farley of Baildon, Yorkshire; son, Victor Bailey, wife Ann-Kathryn, of Lawrence, Kansas; granddaughter, Karen (Farley) Jackson, husband Kevin, great-granddaughter, Freya Jackson, and great-grandson, Jarl Jackson, all of Gargrave, Yorkshire. She is also survived by nephew Peter Midgley, wife June, nieces Kathleen Caulfield, husband Patrick, and Moira Harrison, all of England, and Lynn and Lee Bailey of Canada; and cousin Edna Myers of Keighley. Her husband, Fred Bailey, preceded her in death.

The family welcomes well-wishers to a “High Tea” celebration of Lily’s life at the Castle Tea Room on Friday, 8 January, 4:00–6:00 pm.

The family requests no flowers.