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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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October 19, 2020

8/18/2020 7:29:00 AM
Johncurtis C. Bailey

Joncurtis C. Bailey, age 82, of Rhinelander, died Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020 at Seasons of Life Hospice Home in Woodruff. He was born Aug. 25, 1937, in Superior, to Jesse Claude and Genevieve (Campbell) Bailey. He attended Superior State Teachers College, now the University of Wisconsin Superior where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1960 then a Masters Degree in Theatre Arts from UW Madison in 1964. Jon also joined the Merchant Marine and was employed by the Colombia Transportation Co. cooking for guests on the Joseph H. Franz and the Edmund Fitzgerald in summers of 1957-1962.

In 1960, he was hired to teach English, history, and coach drama at Rhinelander Union High School, a position he held for 36 years.

He continued to chef summers at the White Stag Supper Club and then Camp Mohawk For Boys. He married fellow teacher, Janice Irene Strek in Wausau on Aug. 23, 1962. The couple were members of Bon Tems Dance Club, a local gourmet club, worked together on countless RHS drama productions, and hosted many high school student trips to see shows in Chicago, Minneapolis, and London. Jon was also a member of the Shriners Zor Temple and Itasca Masonic Lodge. His passion for history and the preservation of the arts lead him to remove and restore the 1927 theatre organ from Rhinelander's State Theatre to his home in the 1980s.

Jon and Jan also were leaders in the non-profit Rhinelander Inc. that once funded/directed operations at the Rhinelander Logging Museum. Jon also continued to promote arts education as a co-founder of the Rhinelander School of the Arts, and a theatre consultant for DPI and member of the Alliance for Wisconsin Theatre Education, in which a Distinguished Service Award was named in his honor. Following Jon's retirement from and extended teaching contract in 2002, the couple enjoyed traveling, auctioning, and restoring and selling antiques for their Whistle Stop Antiques business.

Mr. Bailey is survived by his 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 Rhinelander, a nephew, Jesse Lawrence Blue, Friendship, a great-grandchild and cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, sister Jane, and niece, Carolee.

Private family services will be held.

You may leave your private condolences for the Bailey family at Memorials would be preferred to the Rhinelander Logging Museum, Rhinelander Historical Society, or the Pipe Organ Fund at Rhinelander's St. Augustine's Episcopal Church.

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Bailey family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Article comment by: Rob Wadd

So sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Bailey. He was an excellent teacher and a really wonderful person. My most sincere condolences to his family.

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