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BAILEY, Grace “Eleanor” (nee McKay)

March 17, 1931 – Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

June 30, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

(Grace) Eleanor Bailey, beloved wife of Ed Bailey, of Calgary, passed away on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at the age of 87 years.

Eleanor was born on March 17, 1931—day of luck and leprechauns—in Moose Jaw, SK. While she chose not to go by Grace, her given name, she was all grace just the same.

She graduated Grade 12 from Scott Collegiate in Regina in 1949. When she was 17, she contracted polio, which impacted her significantly. Her dream of being a concert pianist could not be realized, however, Eleanor determinedly still played piano, and still possessed her beautiful soprano voice, which she continued to train and develop.

Eleanor went on to study Arts at Regina College, then graduated from Teachers College in Moose Jaw. For the next decade, Eleanor taught Grades 1, 2 and Specialty Kindergarten in Regina, including teaching music on School Broadcasting for the Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan for 6 years. While in Regina she sang with the Hewettes, the Regina Opera, St. Andrew’s United Church, and special events. It was at a choir practice, when a friend called her to come to hit the “high note” no others could, that she met her partner in life, love and music, Ed Bailey.

Married in Regina in 1959, the Baileys started their family, then moved to Calgary in late 1966. They bought a new home in Southwood and in that community, she and Ed were instrumental in the early days of Southwood United Church, and especially in forming their Choir. Directed by Ed, practices were held in the Bailey home for many years. Ed and El performed many concerts, solos, and duets over the years. They also attended Deer Park United and sang in their Choir, as well as a choir at Scarboro United Church. Eleanor was also a member of the UCW and active in many church activities.

In Calgary, Eleanor taught at Southwood Kindergarten, Helping Hands Nursery School, and Southwood Nursery school, her kind ways and singing were very popular and “her children” loved her. Later she did part-time work at a jewelry store, proofreading at Century Press, and was a dedicated volunteer at Screen Test Alberta.

One of El’s best attributes was her sense of humor. She loved a good laugh, and was an excellent listener. Eleanor made friends easily – she enjoyed many old friendships from girlhood and on, and continued to make new ones. In later years, she belonged to a Bitch’n’Stitch group, and attended several Red Hatter events. Eleanor and Ed both loved curling (watching and playing), and had a good time watching football on TV. She and Ed were always busy: travelling, camping, attending Calgary Philharmonic, trying Elderhostel, parties, music, hobbies, and celebrations with family and friends.

Eleanor loved games of all sorts, including trivia, word games and crosswords, which she was very good at her whole life. But her favourite was cards, all games – she and Ed both played Bridge, in clubs and with friends, and were also fond of Euchre. Eleanor was famous for her “skinny hands,” and her sense of humour and fun made playing with her a pleasure.

Eleanor was a wonderful mother, and together she and Ed were devoted and thoughtful parents. Later she was delighted to become grandma to three wonderful girls, to whom she is an inspiration.

Her marriage to Ed was one of promises kept and pure devotion. She always knew she could count on her partner. They still held hands and shared a commitment like no other.

Eleanor never let her health issues, which included Polio, Cancer, and Parkinson’s, define her. It was unheard of for Eleanor to complain, and we may only marvel at her inner strength. She seemed to possess deep wisdom, yet retained the joy and wonder of a child.

We will all miss her quick wit and easy smile very much.

She is survived by her children and grandchildren: Joan Marie Bailey (Tim Derkitt) of Calgary, Ross McKay Bailey (Richelle) and granddaughter Jessica Lynn of Surrey BC and Kathryn Louise Dunlop (Robert), and granddaughters Addison Grace and Ella Kathryn, of Downers Grove, Illinois. In addition, she leaves her siblings Jean Ann Seivewright of Regina, and George McKay, of Winnipeg, numerous nieces and nephews, and many wonderful friends.

A Memorial Service was held at Southwood United Church (10690 Elbow Drive SW Calgary, AB T2W 1G4) on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 1:30 PM followed by a social gathering in the church hall. Condolences may be forwarded through

Eleanor and Ed are inurned together in the beautiful Old Rugged Cross section at Mountain View Memorial Gardens, Calgary AB.

If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to the Parkinson Association of Alberta (#120, 6835 Railway St SE Calgary T2H 2V6,, OR the Canadian Cancer Society (200 – 325 Manning Rd. N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 2P5, phone: (403) 205-3966, email:

If you would like to visit Ed Bailey’s obituary please do so at

In living memory of Eleanor Bailey, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Gisele Sweetland

    Such a dear woman. Always quick with a witty joke. She raised three wonderful people who are my best friends. I am with you in your time of grief but celebrate the wonderful woman she was. She was loved and her memory will live on.

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  2. I am very sorry to hear of your loss, Ed, Joan, Kathryn andRoss and all of your family.
    Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
    Kim Maki

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  3. So sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts are with you.

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  4. I am thinking of you during this difficult time. I hope memories of Aunt Eleanor bring you comfort and peace.

    Cousin Rhonda

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  5. Great aunt Eleanor will be missed. I loved visiting with her many summer holidays with grandma and mom. May the family fond memories give you comfort. <3

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  6. So very sorry to hear of your loss.
    We are thinking of you.

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  7. Fran & Andy Porter

    Dear Ed & family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your loss. Eleanor was a delightful lady and was dearly loved by many. May knowing she is at peace and no longer ill be a comfort at this sad time. And may happy memories keep her alive forever in your hearts!

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  8. John Petryshen, CEO

    Parkinson Association of Alberta express their condolences on your loss.

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  9. Dear Ed and family. Eleanor was a dear friend for my Mother -Nadine Brown -at Father Lacombe Nursing home. She had a special way of making my mom feel important and loved. Her kind support and witty humour created happy moments until the end. She will always have a special place in our hearts. Wishing you all peace and comfort as you remember the happy moments in her life.

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  10. My heartfelt condolences to Eleanor’s family and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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