William S. “Bill” Bailey
Imperial Potentate, 2021-2022 Shriners International
Junior Past Imperial Potentate Shriners Children’s
March 9, 1953 – May 7, 2023
To the Representatives of Shriners International, Potentates of
Temples and the Nobility of the Order:
He walked through life and left his impress there;
He still lives on in ways we cannot know.
His love of life and living is not lost;
His spirit carries on in those he loved,
And reaches out to touch humanity.
A heritage continuing through the years.
William S. “Bill” Bailey, who served as Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, 2021-2022, and was serving as Junior Past Imperial Potentate of Shriners Children’s, passed away on May 7, 2023.
Imperial Sir Bailey and his father, Robert B. Bailey, Past Imperial Potentate of Shriners International in 1995-1996, were only the second father and son to serve as Imperial Potentates of Shriners International.
As a member of the Board of Directors, Bill Bailey had served as Chairman of the Marketing and Communications, Donor Relations, Hospital Operations, Temple Officers Educational Seminars and Temple Procedures committees. He also served on the Strategic Planning, Building and Equipment, Membership, Investments, Budget Insurance, Real Estate and Natural Resources, Clinical and Basic Research committees, Demolay as well as on the Shriners Children’s Open committee.
He had been a hospital liaison to Shriners Children’s Erie, Ohio, Texas, Greenville, Shreveport, Twin Cities and Shriners Hospitals for Children Canada.
For 29 years, Imperial Sir Bailey was proud to serve on the Imperial Marshal’s Aide committee, and for 16 of those years, he served as Vice Chairman of the Imperial Marshal’s staff.
At the 2005 Imperial Session, Imperial Sir Bailey was awarded the Imperial Potentate’s Award of Merit, the highest honor of the fraternity. The award recognizes outstanding achievement and selfless contributions to Shriners International and Shriners Children’s.
Imperial Sir Bailey is an Emeritus Member of the Iowa Corporation and an Emeritus Member of the Board of Governors of Shriners Children’s Chicago. He served as Sovereign of the Red Cross of Constantine, is a member of the Indiana College of Rosicrucians and is a member of Demolay International. He was recently awarded the Demolay Legion of Honor.
Imperial Sir Bailey was a member of Orak Shriners in Michigan City, Indiana, where he served as Potetnate in 2009. He was a member of the Arab Patrol, Motor Patrol, Oriental Band, Sportsman’s Club and the South Lake Shrine Club. He was Director General for the 1987 Great Lakes Shrine Association Business Session.
Imperial Sir Bailey was a member of Porter Lodge #137 in Valparaiso, Indiana, and a member of Elbert H. Gary York Rite. He was past Commander in Chief of the South Bend Valley Scottish Rite, where he was coroneted with a 33rd Degree in 1997.
Bailey served as Session Elder for the Ogden Dunes Community Church and a Trustee for the Ogden Dunes Community Church Corporation. He sang in the choir and ran the sound system and livestreaming broadcast. He served as the Great Banquet Community Lay Leader from 1998-2004 at a weekend event designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christians. He served on the Ogden Dunes Town Council, including as its President in 1995. He also served as Vice President of the Ogden Dunes Home Association.
Bailey was born, raised and resided in Ogden Dunes, Indiana, a small lakeside community built on the shores of Lake Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Evansville in Indiana and is the third generation in his family to graduate from the university. Bailey went on to receive his Master of Science degree from the University of Kentucky.
Bailey was Vice President of Investments for Marcus & Millichap in Chicago, where he sold commercial investment real estate with his brother, John and son, Ross. He was a five-time winner of the Sales Recognition Award.
Bill and his wife, Debby, were happily married for 45 years and proud to have two sons, Rob Bailey and Ross Bailey, to follow the family tradition of becoming Shriners. Rob is married to Jackie, and they have two children, Parker Rose and Beau Owens. Ross is married to Jessica, and they have two children, Henry Michael and Finn Joseph. He is also survived by his brother, John, another member of the Bailey family Shriner legacy. He was preceded in death by his mother, Sarah, father, Robert, and brother, Jim.
It is evident to all who knew him, that Bill was proud of his Shriners family legacy, a legacy that is characterized by kindness, caring, duty and sacrificial service passed down through the generations.
It is eternity now. I am in the midst of it. It is about me in the sunshine; I am in it, as the butterfly in the light-laden air. Nothing has to come; it is now. Now is eternity; now is the immortal life.
Imperial Sir Bailey’s many friends throughout Shriners International join with the Imperial Potentate in expressing sincere condolences to his
loved ones at his parting.
There was a friend whose heart was good.
He walked with men and understood.
He was a voice that spoke to cheer,
And felt like music on the ear.
He was a smile men loved to see;
He was a hand that asked no fee
For friendliness or kindness done.
And now that he has journeyed on,
His is a fame that never ends —
He leaves behind uncounted friends.
ES SELAMU ALEIKUM
Let this memorial be read at the next session of your temple following its receipt, and let the same be made a matter of record in your temple’s minutes.
Given under our hands and the seal of Shriners International, this 9th day of May 2023.