E. Earl 'Hooks' Bailey

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sept. 19,1912-June 19, 2010

STRATTON, Nebraska -- E. Earl "Hooks" Bailey, 97, died Saturday (June 19, 2010) in McCook.

He was the first child of Seymour and Nola (Pember) Bailey, born Sept. 19, 1912, in Enders, Nebraska. He attended school in Stratton and graduated in 1930.

He started his banking career while a senior in high school with the Commercial Bank in Stratton, by empting waste baskets, scrubbing floors and washing windows. After graduation, Earl continued with the bank until 1934; at which time he went back to his grandfather's farm and continued his farm and ranch experiences.

In 1935, he served as Hitchcock Deputy County treasurer. The same year, while attending the Hitchcock County Fair, he met his wife-to-be, Fay Confer of Culbertson. They were married on May 17, 1936.

Earl accepted a job in Kearney with the Fort Kearney State Bank. In 1943, the couple moved to Lincoln, where he served as a bank examiner, and later with the State Tax Commission.

During World War II, they raised turkeys for the Army to feed the troops. After the war he bought into the Commercial Bank of Stratton, concluding his banking career in 1976.

During his working years in Stratton, he served on the school board, town board and community chest fund drive. He was county chairman for the Red Cross and Salvation Army, president of the Stratton Community Club and was head coach of the girl's softball team.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for more than 75 years, holds the 70 year pin and was a current holder of the Jordan Medal. he served on the President's Advisory Council for the University of Nebraska. He was a member of the Methodist Hospital Foundation in Omaha, and a life-long member of the United Methodist Church.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Fay; and a grandson, Brett Sorensen.

Survivors include his only sibling, Zilah Bailey Powell of Stratton; three children, Lilah Yows and husband, Jerry of Amarillo, Texas, Elaine Gum and husband, Carl of Raymore, Missouri and Paul Bailey of Denver; seven grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Stratton United Methodist Church with the Rev. Brian Fong officiating. Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery.

Visitation will be today 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Stratton United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given in Earl's memory at the church or McCook National Bank of Stratton.

Forch Funeral Chapel of Stratton is in charge of the arrangements.