Bea (Ethel Beatrice) Bailey was born to Myrtle and Cecil Leroy McDonald on June 19, 1928 in Bronte, Texas. Following the death of their father in 1938, Bea's mother placed her and her three brothers, Merlin, Tom, and Jim in the Hendrick Home for Children in Abilene, Texas. Bea graduated from Abilene High School and attended McMurray College before pursuing her studies at Hendrick Hospital to become a registered x-ray technician. She took great pride in being the first female x-ray technician at Odessa Medical Center in May, 1951. Soon after she was recruited by Dr. Emit Headlee to join his staff at the Headlee Clinic. Bea moved with Dr. John Bryan and Dr. Glenn Williams with the opening of their offices and was later employed by Dr. Michael Shelton. She also worked at Permian General Hospital in Andrews. Bea was a member of the American Registry/Society of Radiologic Technologist; the Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists; and the Permian Basin Society of Radiologic Technologists.
Bea married Ray A. Bailey (Deacon Ray) on April 19, 1949 in Abilene, Texas. They relocated to and resided in Odessa the remainder of their married life. Bea and Ray were Episcopalians and were members of Heavenly Rest in Abilene, Texas, members of St. John's Episcopal Church and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church before becoming members of the St. Stephen's Charismatic Episcopal Church. She was very active in her church community where she taught Sunday school, was sponsor of the Episcopal Youth Group for many years, sang in the choir, worked with the pantry distributions, served on the Women's Altar Guild, was a Cursillo participant and was involved in numerous Bible study and prayer groups. Bea demonstrated her superb sewing and needlepoint skills while helping to provide vestments and kneelers for the clergy and sanctuary of her churches. Bea's artistic abilities flourished over the years as she went from painting to creating beautiful needlepoint work from some of her drawings.
Her innovative thinking brought about at least two design changes when our house was built in 1959. She had a built-in cutting board installed under the counter in the kitchen and insisted that the washer be placed on the garage side of the wall rather than being located in the kitchen. Most notably, Bea was a great prayer warrior and was a member/leader of many church and home prayer groups as well as being a prayer partner at KMLM.
Bea and Ray greatly enjoyed traveling and were blessed in being able to visit Israel three times in their golden years. Graduating from a tent to a small camper, they delighted in camping out in the mountains. Over time, their favorite destination became Ft. Davis State Park.
Bea was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Ray; her parents; three brothers; and one granddaughter, Diohnna Shelee Vaughn.
She is survived by her children, Gwen Vaughn and husband Ronnie of Odessa, Raymond Bailey and his wife Bailey of Shreveport, LA, and three grandchildren, Samuel, Matthew, and Heather Bailey.
We express our most sincere appreciation to the staff of the Rose Terrace Home in Fort Worth, Texas. The care mother received these past four years was exceptional.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Hendrick Home for Children, P.O. Box 5195, Abilene, Texas 79608; or to an Alzheimer's Association in your area.
Bea will be laid to rest with a private burial in Crane, Texas. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene in Odessa at 10:00 AM on Friday, September 16, 2011. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Shaffer-Nichols Funeral Home.