Former deputy mayor Robert Bailey dies at age 68

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Robert (Bob) Bailey, who served on councillor with both Anderdon Township and the town of Amherstburg, has died at the age of 68.

Bailey died Saturday, just days after his father-in-law with both passing away in Florida. Bob’s brother Dave said he was supposed to go down to Florida to visit with Bob and his wife Helga but that trip was postponed for a day due to inclement weather in the United States. Dave said his last phone call from Bob was a message to wait as Bob was concerned for his brother’s safety.

Dave said that in speaking with Helga, she said they had a “lovely Saturday” including going for lunch. She returned to her father’s trailer that they had been cleaning out and returned home to find Bob had died in his chair at their own trailer.

Former deputy mayor Robert (Bob) Bailey died Jan. 23 in Florida where he was spending time with his family. (Erie St. Clair LHIN photo)

Former deputy mayor Robert (Bob) Bailey died Jan. 23 in Florida where he was spending time with his family. (Erie St. Clair LHIN photo)

Bob’s political career followed that of Helga in Anderdon, where he served as a councillor and deputy mayor until the township was amalgamated with Amherstburg and Malden in 1997. He returned to municipal politics as a councillor in 2003 and was elected as deputy mayor in 2006, serving a four-year term in the latter position.

Bob was also a member of Essex County council, a county representative to the Kid’s Campaign for Children’s Mental Health Issues, the Essex County Library Board, and the Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) board of directors. His community service also included serving as a member of the Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee for six years and spent over three years as a member of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council, a body which provides advice to the Minister of Community and Social Services on accessibility issues and standards development.

Dave said his brother was born with Spina Bifida and that led to kidney problems down the road with Bob having two kidney transplants. Bob served for seven years with the Kidney Foundation of Canada at the local, provincial and national levels and also served as district president, member and branch president of the Greater Ontario Branch, and branch representative to the national board of directors. He also served as a director with the Erie Shores Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) since 2011.

For 32 years, he was also involved with purchasing in the educational sector and was a senior buyer and manager of purchasing and supply for the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo highlighted the former deputy mayor’s career prior to the start of Monday night’s council meeting and asked that people kept Bob in their thoughts during the moment of reflection. Town flags were lowered to half-mast in memory of Bob Bailey.

Dave said Bob thought out his positions well when he was on council and recalled it being tough to change his brother’s mind when he arrived at an opinion.

“He was well thought out. He was always well prepared,” said Dave.

Wanting the public to remember his brother for his grit and determination, Dave said Bob had the attitude of going after the goals he set out for himself. Bob and Helga also had a love of travel, Dave said.

“He knew he was a very, very lucky man to have Helga,” said Dave. “She loved him to pieces and he returned it.”

The couple have two sons – Bryan and Adam – and Dave said Bob would “cut off his arms and his legs” for his family.

“He really, really cared for them,” said Dave.

As of press time, funeral arrangements were not finalized.

 

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