John  Bailey


John Bailey, 76, of Honor, passed from this world in the early morning hours of June 9, 2019 after a long battle with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
John was a proud Anishinaabe, an Odawa from the Grand River Band and Black Wolf Clan. John was born at his family home in Honor, which he referred to as the "Center of the Universe."
John spent his life working to better himself and his fellow Native people. John was a devoted family man. He deeply loved his wife, Maren, and his son, Phillip, and worked hard to make a good life for them. John always wanted things to be equal and fair for all people and spent his life working with various organizations and groups creating programs that would make lives better in the present and for future generations.
John was an eloquent public speaker and used his knowledge of Native culture and world history to educate and inform others of how all our paths must align to create a better future. John spent many years being the master of ceremonies at many Michigan Native powwows. Those weekend gatherings were very dear to him and the people he shared them with. John never stopped trying to affect positive change in the world. He felt that his actions would create ripples that would inspire others to act.
For years he would answer the phone by saying, "Ready for a revolution." He wanted people to not talk, but act to make change happen. John shared his knowledge freely and wished for others to take what they learned and continue on their path of seeking knowledge and education.
John loved his family and instilled the value of the power of this love in all he knew. John had a sense of humor and wit that he loved to share with everyone he met. His power of observation was keen and there wasn't much you could fool him with. His presence could fill a room. Each step he took held purpose and a true sense of pride.
He loved reading Western-themed books and movies and never tired of them. John loved boxing and would not move from the TV when a "bout" was on. John loved all things in nature and the beauty of Northern Michigan. John spent his early years driving motorcycles in flat track races until he saw the risk was greater than the thrill.
He lived and dreamed big and had the personality and presence to match. He touched many lives by just being who he was. There are so many wonderful things about John that can't be fully told here.
He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Robert Bailey; grandmother, Cathryn (Madagame) Bailey; father, Clarence Bailey; mother, Irene (Denemy) Bailey; sister, Kathryn Bailey; and brother, Charles Bailey.
He is survived by his wife, Maren Bailey; son, Phillip Bailey; sister, Marilyn Bailey; son-in-law, Brian Liggins; nephews, Derek Bailey, Nimkees Bailey, Kihew Bailey and Maengun Bailey; and his dear pal, Goldie. She will miss his lap and their naps together. John dearly loved his nephews and wants nothing but the very best for them always.
Services for John will be held on Thursday, June 13, at 2 p.m., at the Jowett Family Funeral Home, 7223 South Street in Benzonia. A visitation with family members will be held at 1 p.m.
John would want you all to know that instead of being part of a problem, be part of a solution.
In lieu of flowers, John wants you to donate to the charity of your choice.
Jowett Family Funeral Home and Cremation Service is handling the arrangements.
Published on June 12, 2019
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3 posts

Doug & Joan Walters
Jun 13, 2019
We are so very sorry for your loss.
Emily Crampton goodwin
Jun 12, 2019
So sorry not able to attend God bless
Jun 12, 2019
Heartbroken to hear this news. I first heard John speak many years ago at a Bioneers conference. He had a powerful wisdom that brought me to tears. I am so sad for us all, but none more than Maren and his family.