Dean A. Bailey passed away surrounded by family on May 17 at his cottage in Point Judith after a long and courageous battle against cancer. He was the husband of Donna Smith Bailey, and they had been married almost 50 years.
Born in Woonsocket on April 24, 1951, he was the son of the late Edna L. (Arnold) and Herbert N. Bailey. His family resided in a house that Edna's father had built in Slatersville. Dean graduated from North Smithfield Junior-Senior High School.
Dean attended the Rhode Island School of Electronics. He and friend Bruce Wood operated B&W Electronics, a television and radio sales and service company based in Forestdale, for many years.
In 1979, Dean and Donna moved to Westerly, also spending time at their beach house in Narragansett.
Dean achieved a long-time personal goal and became a professional truck driver working for several companies, primarily on the East Coast. He often would bring his wife Donna, his daughter, Amanda, or his son, Peter, on trips with him. Dean enjoyed driving but retired in 2007 due to health issues. He reaped the benefits of his retirement in 2009 when he began helping to care for his grandson, Everett.
Dean was a longtime short-wave radio operator (K1DAB) who maintained a list of contacts throughout the world. He was an early member of the Radio Emergency Associated Citizens Team (REACT), an emergency communications volunteer service. Later, he was an active member of the North Smithfield Emergency Management Agency. Dean was also a member of the Ham Radio Team of Westerly and member of CERT.
Dean was very interested in and knowledgeable about automobiles and over the years owned and operated many Triumph and MG sports cars and Ford Mustangs.
Dean was a fan of Rodney Dangerfield, Mel Brooks, the Three Stooges, and Martin & Lewis. He was affectionately known in the family as "Uncle Melvin," after one of Jerry Lewis' most beloved characters.
Both he and Donna were devoted to their pet dogs including Chelsea, the most recent in their long line of Basset hounds. They were active in the New England Bassett Rescue League for several years.
Dean also coached his son's and daughter's youth baseball and softball teams respectively. Dean was a favorite among Peter and Amanda's friends, known fondly as Pa Beetle or Coach. He was patient and kind, teaching us that it's ok to make mistakes as long as we try again and do our best.
In addition to his wife Donna, his daughter Amanda of Hope Valley, and his son Peter and partner Tilani Botha and daughter Amore of Noank, Dean is survived by his beloved grandson, Everett Spencer of Hope Valley, a brother, Arnold Bailey of Slatersville, a sister-in-law, Lisa Smith of Westerly, a niece, Deborah Bailey-Scotto and husband Bruce of Slatersville, a nephew, Michael Bailey and his wife Susan of Bozrah, CT; several grand nieces and grand nephews.
Funeral arrangements are in the care of Buckler Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main Street, Westerly. Calling hours will be on Wednesday , May 25,2022, from 5-8 p.m.
A service commemorating Dean's life is scheduled for Thursday at 11Am.
Burial will follow in River Bend Cemetery, 117 Beach St. Westerly.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Dean's memory to a charity of your choice or NEBRA
for online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com