Obituary of Ronald H. Bailey
Ronald H Bailey (“Beetle”) passed away from natural causes in his home in Pottstown, PA on Saturday, May 15, 2021. He was 77. Ron was preceded in death by his sister Virginia A Bailey Brooke, his mother Edna A Evans Bailey Feeney and father Howard F Bailey. He graduated from Pottstown High School in 1962. Fiercely proud of his Alma Mater, Ron attended basketball games of the Pottstown Trojans long into his adult life and holiday meals were always scheduled around his expected return from Pottstown’s football game against Owen J Roberts on “Turkey Day.” He was drafted during the Vietnam War and served as a Sergeant E-5 in the US Army. He was a 3rd shift tire builder at Firestone, and picked up part time hours at a full-service gas station owned by John Kuback back in the days when the gas cap was tucked behind your license plate. Once the local Firestone plant closed, he took over the garage, which became Bailey’s East End Texaco, formerly located at the corner of High and Beech Sts, which featured a $1.50 automatic car wash and a U-Haul business. He made a family outing of driving all over God’s creation to fetch the right-sized U-Haul trucks and trailers to support the moving needs of the community. When new environmental protection regs were introduced in the early 1990s that would’ve required him to dig up and replace the underground tanks, he opted to close the business and picked up employment running the furnaces on 3rd shift at Uniform Tube in Trappe until he retired.
He had two daughters with Leona I Krayeski, to whom he was married for 20 years – Debra A Bailey of Pottstown, and Patricia A Bailey Tsipras, wife of Seraphim (Sam) A of Collegeville; and three grandchildren.
He employed a string of kids at the gas station that meant the world to him, notably Ricky Bartman, Paul Fanelli, Jack Healy, Brian Irvin and Chris Staso. All of you were like sons to him.
His daughters often returned home to discover that their dad had constructed helicopters and other structures with their Legos while they were at school. He was forever a kid himself. His ex-wife would tell you that he needed to grow up – but that was a double-edged sword because the things that he lacked in maturity were the very same things that made him an exceptional father to their children.
He spent hours with his daughter Patricia to solve pesky word problems, which gave her great confidence to raise her hand in math class with the solution to their homework problems only to find out that the answers they came up with were completely wrong. But, one thing you’ll never regret is time spent with your kids, and as we grow, the time we later spend caring for our parents.
The “outfit,” as he would call it, that put-on the 4th of July fireworks display at Manatawny Park rented U-Haul trucks from Ron to transport the explosives to the site, and always hooked him up with a bunch of professional grade freebies. The neighborhood kids would gather and then scatter from the Bailey residence when the cops rolled up. With this memory comes the sound of jingling pocket change as he carefully lit the fuse and ran out of harm’s away, and the distinct scent of sulfur that lingered in the air.
As a young child, his mother thought that his ears were too big so she Scotch taped them to his head in the hopes of stunting their growth. It worked. He had the smallest ears you’ve ever seen on a grown man. He inherited a hearing problem and was nearly deaf in his left ear since he was in his 20s. So, if you ever said something to him to which he didn’t reply or didn’t reply appropriately, he wasn’t being intentionally rude; he was simply deaf in one ear… and couldn’t hear outta the other.
People that are hard of hearing are often loud. This was certainly true of him. If you’ve played in a bowling league at Jay Lanes or Limerick Bowl, you probably knew him or at least have heard his loud mouth heckling someone on the lanes. He rolled numerous perfect games and would’ve look like Mr. T with his bling had he sported all of his ABA rings at once.
In his youth, he was a champion diver at Sunnybrook, back when Sunnybrook had a pool. Self-taught in his Sophomore year, he was Pottstown High School’s number one golfer. He had a wonky swing but, at his best, had an eight handicap. He loved to golf most of all and was on a course when his wife went into labor with their first child long before the invention of cell phones to call him home. (So, that’s likely when the marriage trouble started).
Visitation will take place on Saturday, May 29, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Houck & Gofus Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 955 N. Charlotte St., Pottstown, PA 19464. A funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. Interment with military honors will take place after the service at Highland Memorial Park, 701 Farmington Ave., Pottstown, PA 19464. Please note, masks and social distancing will be required at the visitation and service.
A webcast of Ron’s services will also be available beginning at 11:00 a.m. Please visit: https://houckgofusfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/1513/Ronald-Bailey/obituary.html#tribute-start and click on the “webcast” tab to view the webcast. If you have any questions, please call 610-323-8220.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ron’s memory to: Brandywine Valley SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, PA 19380, or online at https://bvspca.org/donate/.