Helen Bailey

Helen Bailey

Helen K. Bailey died on Dec. 7 at the age of 96. Helen K. Niemeier was born in Centralia, Illinois, in 1925 and graduated from Centralia High School in 1943. Helen excelled in singing, spelling, typing and bookkeeping, all skills she applied later in life. Helen married George E. Yoos in 1947. They first moved to Berkeley, California and then to Columbia, Missouri, where her two sons were born and she worked as a bookkeeper.

In 1955, Helen moved to Hyde Park. She worked for many years for Geoffrey Plampin, typing graduate theses for students for publication by the University of Chicago Press. Helen’s singing career took off after she sang with the Bach Singers and the Rockefeller Choir. She started with the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company in its first production in 1960 — she was the Company’s star soprano. She performed in ‬23 shows before retiring in 1990. ‬‬‬‬

In 1964 Helen married Roland J. Bailey. They remained happily married until his death in 2014. They traveled extensively throughout Europe and Helen generously volunteered her energy and talents to various charitable organizations — Bargains Unlimited, Comer Children’s Hospital and Chicago Lying-in Hospital.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents Eda and Erv Sr. Her brothers Erv Jr (Ruth) and Richard. She was much loved by her sons Fredrik (Cheryl) with grandchildren David (Christia) and Emily, and Stephen (Pattie) with granddaughters Rachel Rigo and Stephanie (Christian) Julias. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Doris, seven great grandchildren and many close personal friends. A celebration of Helen’s life will be scheduled for a later date.

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