The man, the myth, the legend, James R. Bailey, left our world a much less joyous place on January 6, 2021, surrounded by his adored wife and children. He faced his brief illness as he approached every aspect of his life, with a radiating positive outlook and wide smile.
Born on October 26, 1944, he was one of three children to the late Walter Allen “Bob” and Frances “Frankie” (DuBon) Bailey. A graduate of Plainville High School, he fulfilled his love for learning and research at many colleges, including the University of Florida, UCONN, and Quinnipiac, and graduated from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He began his career in orthopedic sales in the 1970’s, and returned to his hometown in 1988, becoming the fourth generation to own and operate his family’s business, Bailey Funeral Home until its sale in 1996. A founding partner and President of Innovative Medical Products in Plainville, he shared his expertise in the orthopedic surgery arena for more than 50 years, is credited with several patents and, with his infectious personality, created a circle of friends and business associates that spans worldwide. He followed in his father’s footsteps as a funeral director, a firefighter and lifetime member of the Plainville Fire Company, a member of the Frederick Franklin Lodge of Masons and as a member and supporter of Shriner’s International, proudly driving the vintage jeep that replicates the mini Shriner’s jeeps in parades each year. In 2006, he found true happiness upon his marriage to Diane Minella. Having a mutual love for the ocean, they settled in Old Saybrook, and filled a lifetime of adventures into their all too short 14 years with boating, world travels, fine dining and everlasting friendships. If the saying is true that “he who dies with the most toys, wins” then Jimmy will have surely come in first place. Always seeking the latest and greatest, his repertoire of boats, cool cars, motorcycles, and gadgets was nothing short of impressive, all reflecting his work hard, play hard persona. Fondly remembered, and never to be forgotten, he leaves us all better people having known him, with priceless memories that we can reflect upon and smile.
In addition to his wife Diane, he leaves his children, Jessica Bailey-Mastauskas, Jason Bailey and his wife Jovanna, Jennifer Kosciukiewicz and her husband, Steve, Craig Minella and his wife Leigh, and Cory Minella and his wife Annette. “Grandpa Jim” beamed with joy when surrounded by his grandchildren, Courtney Minella, Tyler Bailey-Lockery, Emily and Sydney Minella, Savana Bailey, Sara Mastauskas, Jaxsen Bailey, Nolan Kosciukiewicz and Logan Bailey. He will also be missed by his sister, Judy Lawson and her husband Doug and many nieces and nephews.
Jim may be remembered with contributions to the Hospital for Special Care, 2150 Corbin Ave, New Britain or www.hfsc.org, in appreciation for their attentive and compassionate care or to the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children at https://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/shc.
Family and friends may gather in celebration of Jim’s life with a walk through visitation on Monday evening from 4-8 p.m. at Plainville Funeral Home, 81 Broad St, Plainville. Guests are asked to attend in accordance with CDC guidelines, wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Funeral services and committal will be limited to family and close friends. A memorial celebration will be held and announced when all are able to safely travel and gather together. To view a recording of the funeral service and for online expressions of sympathy, please visit Jim’s tribute page www.PLAINVILLEFUNERALHOME.com
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