Jill Bailey Obituary, Death – On January 18, 2022, Jill Helen Bailey, 57, passed away at home in Bow, Washington, where she was receiving hospice care, in her loving husband’s arms (GBM). Dean Irwin and Janet Joyce (Launstein) Bailey welcomed her into the world on September 18, 1964 in Midland, Michigan.
While living in Washington State for more than 30 years, Jill was a Michigan girl at heart. Most summers consisted of two to three weeks spent traveling to Traverse City, Michigan, and then Lowell, Michigan, to visit her parents, relatives, and friends; beach time was always a priority. She was a devoted United Methodist who regularly attended several congregations wherever she resided, following the Bailey tradition.
Jill worked as a teacher for 32 years before being forced into an early retirement due to her cancer diagnosis in 2019. During this time, she had a significant influence on the lives of hundreds of children and their parents. She earned her education bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in 1987, and her early childhood special education master’s degree from Western Washington University in 1996.
She was dedicated and took her job seriously. She always tried to educate each student in her classroom according to their personal needs and goals, drawing on her specific experience in reading, special education, and emotionally challenging disciplines, primarily in the second grade. She maintained a positive, fun, and gratifying learning environment in the classroom while being incredibly organized and having a no-nonsense approach to learning.
She enjoyed a variety of activities, such as reading, running, cycling, hiking, and camping. She eventually traveled from New Zealand and Ecuador to the Pacific Northwest because to her early love with climbing. She had the opportunity to visit every country in Europe while employed as a teacher at the DoDDS in Germany. Eventually, she brought her family back for cherished visits to Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Sweden. Between trips abroad, summer vacations were taken to several of the national parks in the West and Southwest.
Jill also loved animals, and it was unusual for her to live in a house without a pet dog, cat, or rabbit (usually, all of the above). Her father, Pastor Bailey, once quipped, “Jill saved her babysitting money and bought her own horse, at age 13 – and we’ve been paying for it ever since!,” but her main passion was for horses. Over the years, she had a number of horses as time (and money) allowed. She enjoyed competing in hunter/jumping contests and riding English horses.
She was a real, reliable, and trustworthy friend in addition to having a 22-year marriage to her high school sweetheart and an unbreakable love to her children. Her determination to live a full life despite her cancer and treatment encouraged the neighborhood. Her efforts to build an outdoor gravel and brick labyrinth on the grounds of Edison Elementary School to provide pupils with “…a place to be centered and slow down” will be remembered as part of her lasting legacy.
She discovered that the labyrinth was comforting and useful for managing her own rehabilitation. Her rich auburn hair, tourmaline eyes, and brilliant, gorgeous smile will live in our memories forever. Jill is survived by her husband Edward Erich Nus, their children Tommy Dean Bailey-Chisholm, Callan Tod Bailey Nus, and Samuel Scott Bailey Nus, as well as their grandsons Carson Michael Allen and their brothers Glenn Loral Bailey and Tod Irwin Bailey. Dean and Janet, her parents, passed away before she did.