Leonard D. Bailey, known to us as Dad but better known for most of his life as Dude, passed away peacefully in The Dalles, Ore., on Feb. 6, 2019, and rejoined his cherished wife, Dora, in Heaven.
Dude was an amazing person who touched the lives of many people, always willing to help, guide and provide valuable lessons of life. Together, he and Dora provided incredible love, support and dedication to all their children, their families, many relatives, great friends, and the community. For this, we will be forever grateful.
Dude was born in 1920 in Oregon City, Ore., to James S. and Delia L. Bailey with one sibling, Floyd T. Bailey. He also considered Dick Bailey as more than a cousin but also a great friend.
His early years were spent on the Trask River near Tillamook and in Salem Ore. His family moved to The Dalles in 1927 where he would attend Joseph G. Wilson and Colonel Wright Elementary schools. In 1929 the family moved to a cherry ranch off Orchard Road, where he spent his adolescent years. Growing up in the Great Depression, he described his family as “pretty poor,” but also said “we didn’t have much but were happy as a family like so many others.”
Dude graduated from The Dalles High School in 1938, leaving with fond memories of this time including playing basketball, good friends and his favorite teacher, Alice Morris who taught bookkeeping.
Dude went on to attend the University of Oregon and joined the Sigma Nu Fraternity with many friends from The Dalles. He started in the class of 1943 but interrupted his studies to serve in World War II.
He started as a member of the University of Oregon Reserve Corps of the Army in 1942 and was later assigned to the 12th Air Force, training in Atlantic City and then Communications School at Camp Crowder, Missouri. He served overseas in North Africa in 1944 and was later re-assigned to the 3rd Tactical Air Communications Squadron in Italy where he spent VE Day in Milan. In 1945 he was assigned to the 347th Fighter Squadron in the 350th Fighter Group. In August 1945 he returned home on furlough and was Honorably Discharged on October 17, 1945.
Dude met the “love of his life,” Dora F. McLean in Aug. 1945, while attending a wedding in The Dalles. Their first date was in Sept., and they were engaged Thanksgiving of 1945. They were married on January 26, 1946, at the family home in The Dalles. After honeymooning at Surftides on the Oregon Coast, they moved into their first home, an apartment at 3rd and Laughlin in The Dalles. From this extraordinary marriage another great family was created.
Dude returned to the University of Oregon where he earned his degree in Accounting in 1947. In Dec. 1948 he became a C.P.A. and has been a life member of the Oregon Society of C.P.A.’s for over 60 years. His first accounting business with John Will opened in Jan. 1946. On Jan. 1, 1955, he opened a sole proprietorship, as Leonard D. Bailey, C.P.A. On Jan. 2, 1964, he started a new partnership with Ron Clark and John Byers forming the firm, Bailey, Clark and Byers. Dude retired in 1981 but stayed with the firm for another 16 months until full retirement in 1982.
Dude strongly believed in giving back to his community. He was involved most of his life with many accomplishments. He joined the Elks Club in 1942 and was a Life Member. He was a volunteer Fireman for The Dalles Fire Department (15 years as Captain) from 1945 to 1965. He belonged to the Lions Club from 1948 to 1975 and was a past President. He was named “Man Of The Year” for The Dalles in 1969. He served as a Board Member of Mid-Columbia Medical Center from 1968 to 1981 and went on to volunteer from 1988 to 1992. He and Dora belonged to The Dalles Country Club from 1953 to 2003 and the Crystal Ball Dance Club for many enjoyable years.
Dude and Dora were members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for many decades, and he actively helped to build the new church. Dude was active in Little League as a coach and father, plus he was instrumental in working with the school district to secure the use of 16th street ballpark for the league. He was a force behind the Lions Club sponsorship of The Dalles Swim Team from it’s inception. He and Mel Olmstead helped to organize the swim meets and establish participation from clubs from as far away as Kelowna B.C. Dude also enjoyed helping to organize and visiting with great friends at the humerous high school reunions through the years.
While giving back to the community was extremely important to Dude, his favorite memories were of family! Through numerous fishing, hunting and camping trips with family and friends, Dude instilled a love of the outdoors in generations to come. Each year he made time for adventures with his family, including fishing and camping at Sparks Lake, fly fishing for trout and steelhead on the Deschutes, deer and elk hunting in Eastern Oregon, playing golf tournaments with Dora, and shrimping at Hood Canal. Beyond these annual traditions, there were many travels to Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, Denver, TaWeel Lake in British Columbia, and a wonderful Mediterranean Cruise that was his and Dora’s final trip together. These places continue to hold fond memories for family and friends.
We sincerely thank all of those who have been a part of Dad’s journey!
From all of us:
Freddie (Dude’s 4 legged companion) now living in Denver, Colorado,
Ruth and Bill Welle – Denver, Colorado, Jim and Sharon Bailey – The Dalles, Oregon, Carol and Dave Yakish – The Dalles. Oregon, Mike and Joey Bailey – Albany, Oregon, Bob and Laurie Bailey – Bend, Oregon, Many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As Dad told us towards the end “I had a great life, a great marriage, a great family, a great business, great friends, and many wonderful memories.” These memories, good times, and life lessons from both Dude and Dora will live on through us, their children, Ruth, Jim, Carol, Mike and Bob, and our families! We could not be more blessed than to call them Mom and Dad, and we know they are together in Eternity!
In keeping with Dad’s wishes, the family will hold a private graveside service on Sat., March 23, 2019. A public celebration and dessert will follow at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in The Dalles. Any remembrances are very much appreciated and can be made to Hearts of Hospice, Meals On Wheels, or The Humane Society.