Robert Earl “Beetle” Bailey, Sr. died on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 88 years of age, in Rancho Viejo, Texas.
Robert Earl Bailey led a very full and vibrant life. Born to Charles Lincoln Bailey and Ethel Norris Bailey on December 22, 1928, in Erwin, Unicoi County, Tennessee, he was one of twelve children. As a child, he had a knack for adventure and athleticism, most notability at swimming. This thirst for adventure led him to serve in the US Navy during World War II, along with five brothers, one whom survived the Pearl Harbor Attack.
After returning from the war, Robert E. set off on his next great adventure, joining his sister Kate and her husband Frank Henderson in Texas. There, he married and had three children, Rebecca (Wampler), Mary (Carpenter), and Robert “Chuck” Earl Bailey Jr. Soon after, the family moved to Southern Louisiana where Robert E. worked on the construction and repair of pipelines and petroleum rigs. Always the adventurer, he shared this spirit with his children with the various unusual pets and adventures they had in Louisiana.
A loving and doting father, Robert E. shared many of his passions with his children, in particular, with his son Chuck. Chuck’s biggest fan, Robert E. was a dutiful attendee to the various sports that Chuck participated in, including Major League Baseball as a Los Angeles Dodger.
Later in life, Robert E. married Barbara Ann (George), while working as a Right-of-Way Agent. Married April 30, 1993 in Erwin, Tennessee, he would be married to her until his death.
At 79 years old, Robert E. retired as owner and agent of REB Communications, Inc. They spent their retirement in Nacogdoches, Texas; San Antonio, Texas and Rancho Viejo, Texas.
He was preceded in death by ten of his siblings: Elmer Bailey, Pearl Bailey Ledford, Willie Bailey Clouse, Charlie Lincoln Bailey, Ruth Bailey Fain (wife of Bill Fain), Richard Bailey, Harry Bailey, Cecil Jackson Bailey, Toby Bailey (died as a child), Johnny Bailey (died as a child). Of his siblings, Robert E. is survived only by Kate Bailey Henderson, wife of Frank Henderson.
Along with his sister, Robert E. is survived by many of his large, Tennessee family. They include: Frank Bailey, Harley Bailey, Debbie Ledford, Robin Ledford, Susan Bailey, Michael Bailey, Charles Fain, Richard Fain, Toby Fain, Richard Bailey Jr., Joyce Ann Bailey, Bobby Jean Bailey, Gary Bailey, Jo Bailey Bogart.
Robert E. loved his three children dearly. He is survived by them and their families: Rebecca (Bailey) and John Wampler of Tyler, Texas, Mary (Bailey) and Gary Carpenter of Fort Worth, Texas; Robert “Chuck” and Marie Bailey, Jr. of Austin, Texas.
Robert E. loved spending time with his grandchildren. Always bringing gifts of the most unusual kind, Robert E. loved spending time with the children, often on their property in Nacogdoches, Texas, his grandchildren will deeply miss him: Jaclyn (Wampler) and Stuart McGuire of Cuckfield, England; Jade Bailey of Austin; Taylor Bailey of Houston; John and Lindsay Wampler, Jr. of Tyler, Texas; Lee and Deborah Carpenter of Houston, Texas; Hunter Bailey of Midland, Texas; Ben Carpenter of Fort Worth, Texas; and McGregor Bailey of Austin, Texas. Along with his grandchildren, he is survived by his great-grandson, John Harlan Wampler, III of Tyler, Texas and Baby Carpenter of Houston, Texas due in August 2017.
After marrying Barbara, Robert E.’s family grew even larger. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Cindy Smith of Center, Texas; his step-children: Stephanie Hankins, wife of Todd Hankins of San Antonio, Texas and Joseph Ashley and Esmer George of Brownsville, Texas. Their children, his step-grandchildren, include: Carly and Clay Hankins of San Antonio, Texas and William George of Brownsville, Texas.
Robert Earl Bailey, Sr. led an enduring and giving life. Those that met him knew he had a giving soul, deeply motivated by his faith in God and compassion for others. He excelled at everything he did, from working the oil rigs in Louisiana to acquiring land in Texas, to being a great husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, everything he did was deeply rooted in love. He will be loved and missed by many.
Pallbearers will be John Wampler II, Hunter Bailey, Lee Carpenter, Ben Carpenter, John Wampler and Chuck Bailey. Honorary pallbearers will be Harley Bailey, Frank Bailey and Gary Carpenter.
Visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Watson & Sons Funeral Home in Center, Texas. Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, March 19, 2017, at Watson & Sons Funeral Home in Center, Texas. Interment will follow immediately at Oaklawn Memorial Park in Center.
Online condolences & tributes can be sent at www.watsonandsonsfuneralhome.com