Donald Michael Bailey

Donald Michael Bailey

Donald Michael Bailey

Fairfield Bay (Formerly of Marion)

It is a well-known fact that on April 29, 2024, the world lost a good man.

Donald Michael Bailey was born on August 13, 1945, in Iowa City, Iowa (home of the Hawkeyes). Son of loving parents, Sam and Flora Bailey, and the big brother to Sam Jr. (Marilyn), Brenda Tuttrup (Terry), Rodger (Jan), Carol Donahue (Doug) and Linda Konan (Rich). He was the little brother (in-law) to Roger (Karin) Hilton. He became a loved uncle to his nieces and nephews, many who called him Uncle Donut.

In 1962, he met the love of his life, Jill Hilton, at a dance in the Marion High School gym. Jill’s parents, Delmar and Margaret Hilton, loved Don almost as much as Don loved them. After graduating from Mankato State University, Jill and Don married in June 1968 and began their life together in Marion. They were inseparable for almost 56 years.

Don was a wonderful father to Andy (Kate) and Meg (Marcos) Lucero. He taught us the importance of family, education, being humble, hard work, and always giving your best. He loved who we loved and opened his heart and door to life-long friends along the way. He adored Kate and Marcos and was sure to remind us how lucky we are that they chose to join the family. Don and Jill gained 5 more children when they hosted foreign exchange students. Seiko Arai, Steven (Christiane) Moran, Helena Groenqvist, Brian (Jules) Moran, and Toshio Tanaka each spent a year in the Bailey home and are forever family. Don loved them, their families, significant others, and their children like his own.

Don graduated from Dad to Pop – a role he embraced mightily. Charlie, Sofia, Elyse, Lyla, and Jacob were all loved so much by him. Camp Run-A-Muck, a week where the parents weren’t allowed, was his favorite time of year. He became a soccer, gymnastics, field hockey, diving, and baseball fan – he was always interested in whatever they loved. Each of them carries with them the unconditional love and silliness of their Pop.

Even though he was a subject matter expert in many fields, he shined in retirement. He offered his mind and heart to the Fairfield Bay community as he served on the City Council and Rotary Club. He also served on the Rotary Scholarship Committee that supports continuing education for local students.

The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date. In the meantime, you may honor Don by giving your loved ones big hugs, being passionate about your community, sharing some knowledge, and taking a sip (or two) of the good scotch.

Cheers, Prost, Kampai, and Skol to a life well lived and loved Don!

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Fairfield Bay Community Fund, People Who Care for Projects that Matter, P.O. Box 1555 Fairfield Bay, AR 72088 or

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