Charles Marshall Bailey

December 10, 1930 – November 22, 2021

Charles Marshall Bailey passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 22, 2021, just a few miles from where he was born more than 90 years before. On December 10, 1930, during the Great Depression, Marshall was born to Alton and Pearl Bailey on the family farm north of Kearney. Marshall’s life began and ended in Kearney, and despite the duty, work, and travels that took Marshall across the U.S. and abroad, his heart and strong family ties remained in Kearney.

On June 18, 1952, during the Korean War and while stationed with the U.S. Navy at Moffett Field in California, Marshall married Betty Jean Mills. Months later he was serving in the Sea of Japan on the USS Yorktown and the USS Princeton where he was responsible for the care, maintenance, and upkeep of fighter jets. Not surprisingly, his favorite jet was named the Betty Jean.

After the war, Marshall attended the University of Missouri in Columbia where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1957. After graduation Marshall and Betty moved to Fort Dodge, then Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where Marshall worked for Farm Bureau Insurance. By 1959, Marshall and his young family had moved back to the Kearney area where he worked in real estate until his retirement.

Marshall enjoyed his hobbies. He had his private pilot license, enjoying recreational flying, competing in fly-ins, and owning several planes throughout his life. He was also a great admirer of cars and bought and sold dozens over the years. He enjoyed singing, playing the piano and the guitar, both of which he played by ear. He also liked to write songs and frequently performed at area senior centers and local events. In his later years, Marshall took up water color painting, creating works from the many photographs he took of local family farms, old barns and landscapes.

A current member of the Arley Methodist Church, Marshall also formerly served as an elder at the Kearney Christian Church. In 2018, Marshall was a member of the Honor Flight and visited the war memorials in Washington D.C., a highlight of his life.

Marshall is survived by his wife, Betty of Kearney; daughters, Marsha and Scott Davis, and Billie and Richard Middleton of Kearney; and daughter, Bondi and Twig Wood of Columbia. Marshall is also survived by his two sisters, Martha and Ted Armstrong of Holt and Roxie Ritter of Kearney. Other survivors include eight grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and several nieces and nephews.

Marshall was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Jim Bailey of Fullerton, California, and Ned Bailey of Kearney; an adopted granddaughter, Tonya Douglas of Excelsior Springs; and one grandson, Tony Davis of Kearney.

Services will be 11 a.m., Saturday, November 27, 2021 at Arley Methodist Church with visitation 1 hour prior to service.  Burial with full military honors following at Fairview Cemetery, Kearney, MO.  The family suggests in lieu of flowers memorials be made to Honor Flight.

Arrangements in care of Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home.

Our Sincere Condolences

Fond memories growing up south of the Baileys. Such a very special man! Our prayers and sympathies are with all the family.
Lynn Garrett Noyes

Love and prayers. Marshall was a great friend of our family. Lots of great memories.
Frances Decker Roach

Marshall will be missed by so many. He was such a kind and gentle man. A warm smile was always offered by Marshall. I’m so glad to have known him! Prayers for and love to all of his family.
Katie Sammon