Shirley Louise Kincade Bailey, 80, peacefully passed away surrounded by her loving family on Saturday morning, Aug. 13, 2016, at her home in Greenwood.
Shirley was the only daughter and middle child of Harry C. and Ida C. (Reimer) Kincade. She was born April 28, 1936, in Indianapolis and lived her entire life in Indiana.
She graduated with Emmerich Manual High School’s class of 1954, and thereafter started her first job at Jefferson National Life, where she learned keypunch.
Shirley met her future husband, Thomas Bernard Bailey, on a double date with friends, and they married on May 18, 1956, at the home of her parents; they were married for 56 years at the time of Tom’s passing in April 2013.
They lived in Indianapolis in their early years of marriage, during which time Shirley worked at Atkins Saw. Other later employment included Blue Cross/Blue Shield in data entry and Johnson County Hospital in the patient admissions department.
She also enjoyed providing childcare for her grandchildren and many other little ones.
In 1966 they moved their family from Indianapolis to a 10-acre farm in Bargersville. While raising the kids on the farm, Shirley worked hard -– she moved fast to get things accomplished and could work circles around others!
With five kids and farm life, there was much to keep her busy — doing laundry in a ringer washer and hanging the clothes on the clothesline to dry, working in the garden and canning, freezing and preserving the produce, mowing the large yard and helping with the livestock (she could carry a 5-gallon bucket of water with the best of them). All of this while caring for and nurturing her family.
Shirley led a wonderfully full life –- she treasured her family more than anything, and was an amazing mother, grandmother and great-grandmother -– she delighted in and cherished those babies. She loved any opportunity to organize a gathering and cook for everyone; she was a tremendous cook and baker … most famous for her coconut cream pie and her iced tea.
Shirley had many interests during her life and some of the things she loved included music — she was an accomplished pianist in her youth and music was a big part of her life -– she loved all kinds of music. We spent the last evening of her life listening to some of her favorite songs with her.
She was an avid reader, she embroidered many pillowcases for children and table scarves as gifts. She also liked crossword puzzles, playing cards (euchre with friends and family), painting ceramics, photography (picture-taking began with her first camera purchased from her first paycheck at National Life -– and she filled albums over her lifetime), television (favorites like “Law & Order,” Barney Miller and QVC), and cutting out and sharing funny comics (favorites were Herman and “The Far Side”!). She loved to laugh and have others laugh with her!
She was on a bowling league with friends from work and was proud of her trophies which she displayed along with her collection of Longaberger baskets.
Shirley and Tom also enjoyed taking road trips around Indiana and going to sales looking for antiques and quilts; they bought many Amish quilts to display and give to us kids. She and Tom also cherished the many enduring friendships they had with friends they met during visits to Hardee’s and Denny’s over the years.
Shirley loved giving gifts and most recently would order on QVC or send her kids on shopping missions for her -– even just last week she was still giving gifts! She was a very generous lady.
Shirley was a fighter with a strong spirit who never lost her quick wit and sarcastic sense of humor. Over the years she survived two bouts of breast cancer, shoulder and knee replacements and two cornea transplants -– among other things –- but just bounced back each time and kept on going.
We started calling her the energizer bunny –- nothing could keep her down. She so courageously fought this last battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma until the very end –- and still didn’t believe she was old or needed that dreaded walker!
Shirley is survived by her five children, Susie (Joe) Stroud, Tom (Cindy) Bailey, Diane (Gary) Sweeney, Linda (Alan) Wright and Brett (Brenda) Bailey; six grandchildren, Nathan (Kristy) Stroud, Ben (Cari) Stroud and Jacob (Leisy) Stroud, Katie (Kevin) Riley, Lauren Hart and Cole Hart; four great-grandchildren, Bailey, Wyatt and Cecilia Stroud and Jude Strunk, and a fifth great-grandchild on the way in October; two brothers, Howard (Dalene) and Harry (Linda) Kincade.
She was preceded in death by her husband Tom; brothers-in-law, Bob Hodge and Sterling Burgdorf, daughter-in-law Gerri Bailey; and granddaughter Bethany Bailey.
We are so grateful for Mom’s very special caregiver, Sara Evans — a heartfelt thank-you for her compassionate love and care over the last several months. We also want to thank Patty Hodge and Katie Riley for their additional loving care. St. Francis Hospice also did a beautiful job providing support to Mom and the family –- Trina, Jean, Heather, Ashley and all the others who graciously cared for her.
In lieu of flowers, to further assist autism care/research and Shirley’s great-grandson Jude, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Easter Seals Crossroads, 4740 Kingsway Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46205.
A funeral service will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday at Jessen Funeral Home, Whiteland Chapel, 729 U.S. 31 North, with visitation from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be at West Newton Cemetery in West Newton.
Information: 317-535-6880; www.jessenfuneralhome.com