Janice I. Bailey, age 83 of Rhinelander died of cancer in her home on Boom Lake Thursday, April 30. She was a 12# baby born at home Sept. 28, 1936 in Stevens Point, to Gilbert and Florence (Putteen) Strek. Janice grew up in Wausau and became an accomplished musician and diver. In high school she was a state diving champion two years in a row as well as a local church organist and piano accompanist for her high school choirs. After graduation, she attended UW Milwaukee for one year and transferred to UW Lacrosse where in 1959 she earned a BS in Physical Education and a minor in Biology. Janice was then pursued for a teaching job in Menominee Falls but after two years she accepted the phy. ed/ swimming instructor position at Rhinelander Union High School from 1961-1967. In the summers she worked as a waitress at Dairymens Country Club, The White Stag Supper Club, and a camp counselor and waterfront director at Camp Birchrock. While accompanying the high school plays, Miss Strek met a fellow teacher and husband to be, Jon Bailey. They were married Aug. 23, 1962. Following her retirement from teaching phy. ed.to raise a family, Jan became the church organist for the Rhinelander Episcopal Church, a position she held for 42 years. She also taught piano and organ lessons in her home for 30+ years and provided music for countless weddings, funerals, and performance groups throughout the years.
Upon retiring, she enjoyed traveling abroad, gardening, and collecting antiques with her husband, Jon. Jan was also an active member of the International Chapter PEO Sisterhood, First Congregational Church, St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, a local gourmet dinner club, and her beloved college Radtke house gang. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers: Ronald, Leroy, and Jack Strek. Survivors include: husband, J.C. "Jon" Bailey, children: Melora Cumberland of Port Edwards, son, Jack Bailey, and daughter-in-law, Doreen Bailey of Rhinelander, four grandchildren: Carlyn and Maisie Cumberland of Port Edwards, and Jacob Bailey and Deanna Gechas of Rhinelander and a great-grand child, several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Memorials would be preferred to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation or the Pipe Organ Fund at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church in Rhinelander. Her charismatic and sparkling personality will be remembered and missed by many. A memorial service and gathering of friends and family will be announced by Carlson Funeral Home at a later date. You may leave your private condolences for the Bailey family at www.carlsonfh.com. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Bailey family.
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