Mary Elizabeth Bailey died peacefully May 24, 2017, in her home, just four days from what was to be her 93rd birthday. Mary Liz was born May 28, 1924, to Howard and Loretta Bell in Colfax. After graduating from the University of Iowa with honors in music and English, she went to West Palm Beach in the early 40s to grow her family and career. One of her children’s fondest memories is traveling to Colfax, during their summers and an occasional winter.
Through her love of music and English, Mary Liz began a teaching career spanning more than a decade from local elementary schools to Forest Hill High School. She taught with love, conviction and purpose which many of her former students still fondly talk about many years later.
Mary Liz was a past-president in the Junior League of the Palm Beaches helping to create, grow and maintain many local projects which still benefit the community today. In that capacity, some may remember she had to transport a kangaroo to the then fledgling Dreher Park Zoo (now Palm Beach Zoo). Mary Liz drove her 1959 Hillman convertible with half the top down in order to let Joey the Kangaroo’s head stick up through it. Biggest problem was his strong tail which kept hitting the gas pedal.
With her husband George, she helped create the Ann E. Stewart Memorial Music Scholarship Fund at Forest Hill High School which is now managed by the Community Foundation. Mary Liz was also very active in P.E.O. with many of her close friends and their daughters. An accomplished poet, Mary Liz and her children compiled her poetry into a book titled “Bits of Yesterday,” which is still available on Amazon. Her poems give us a glimpse into her incredible spirit and unconditional love of life. She was passionate about reading, flower gardening, traveling and being with friends and family. In fact, holidays around Mary Liz and George were grand events not to be missed.
As long-time members of Lakeside Presbyterian Church, she loved to sing in the choir along with her husband, George. Because of their devotion to Lakeside, Mary Liz and George’s children and their spouses created a Meditation Fountain Garden on the church grounds dedicating it to their memory.
Mary Liz was preceded in death by her husband of more than 40 years, George Bailey; a daughter, Ann Stewart; and a son, Jim Stewart. She is survived by son, John Stewart and his wife, Sandi; son, David Bailey and his spouse, Larry; daughter, Barbara Shevory and her husband, Mark; daughter, Janice Griesemer and her husband, Larry; grandchildren, Michelle Howell, Alexandra Carter, Stephen McKean Jr., Lynn Shevory, Robyn Shevory, Peter Shevory, Eric Griesemer and Brett Griesemer; and three great-grandchildren, Nicholas Carter, Finnley Howell and Gavin Griesemer, with one more on the way.
Viewing for friends and family will be at 6 p.m. Friday, July 7 at Quattlebaum’s Hillcrest Center, 6411 Parker Ave., West Palm Beach, Fla. The center is lat the north end of Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery. A service and reception will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 8 at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 4601 S. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, Fla. Internment will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery. Mary Liz loved flowers, and other memorials in her honor may be made to Lakeside Church, 4601 S. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, 33405, or to the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, 700 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.