Margaret Josephine Bailey, 91, of Traverse City, passed away March 7, 2017 at Munson Medical Center after an acute episode of COPD with hypercapnia, complicated by a respiratory virus. Palliative care was in place, and her daughter was by her side.
Margaret "Maggie" was born Sept. 13, 1925 in her grandparents' farmhouse in Isabella County. She grew up in Clare with her parents, the late Martin Loomis, a direct descendent of the Mayflower, and Alice Myrtle (McDonald) Loomis.
After completing primary school Maggie went on to graduate with a bachelor's degree in social work from Central Michigan University. She attended the university from 1942 to 1945, rooming with her sister.
After completing her education Maggie learned that her real calling in life was that of a teacher. She obtained her teaching certification and spent more than 42 years in the profession. She taught in the TCAPS system for 38 of those years. She began her teaching career as an art teacher, but changed to early elementary and found her love as a first grade teacher. Mrs. Bailey was very proud to be a teacher. Over many summers she tutored reading and returned to Michigan State University in 1968 to receive a master of arts degree in reading education.
On April 12, 1952 she married Kenneth W. Bailey, and they were together until his death March 21, 1979. Maggie forged on as a very strong, giving and independent woman, providing an amazing role model for her daughter, her grandchildren and all her nieces and nephews.
Shortly after retirement Maggie ventured with friends to Alaska, New York City and Toronto. In 2004 She traveled to Hawaii over Christmas and visited Pearl Harbor while visiting her granddaughter. In 2009 she traveled to San Francisco, where she saw the Redwoods at Muir Woods and Redwood National Park. She spoke of these trips often.
Maggie had many interests, passions and accomplishments. She loved the outdoors, science and nature. She enjoyed fly-fishing on the Boardman with her husband and daughter and deer hunting off Supply Road many Novembers. She enjoyed morel mushroom hunting, Petoskey stone hunting and wilderness camping in the Rockies of Yellowstone and Glacier National parks. She loved monarch butterflies and every fall did a science project with her first-graders involving the metamorphosis of the monarch. Every spring she painted intricate drawings on Easter eggs and gave them to loved ones. Her home, and others, are filled with her stained glass lamps and windows. She also loved "her" Tiger baseball and knew most of the players.
Over the years she was a member of the Medical Care Facility Guild and did many hours of volunteer work there. She was also a "Big Sister." She loved her home in Old Town and enjoyed filling it with many antiques.
Maggie was an animal lover at heart and affectionately had not only her own "dog kids" but also had "grand-dogs" that she would dote over and often express to them, "I love you," on departure.
Surviving Maggie are her daughter, Beverley Sporck; her grandchildren, Margaret "Maggie" Sporck (Tobias) Koehler and Leif Kenneth Sporck; nieces and nephews, Mary Katherine Hunter, Gerald Machul, Melissa Penny and JoAnn Morrison; as well as many great-nieces, nephews and cousins; and several good friends and neighbors.
Maggie was preceded in death by her husband, Ken; both her parents; siblings, Barbara Ruth Loomis, Gerald Machul Sr., Francis Clyde Loomis and Idamary Loomis; as well as one nephew, John Machul, who lost his life in the Vietnam War.
Those considering an expression of sympathy may choose to do so in Maggie's honor to the Cherryland Humane Society, 1750 Ahlberg Road, Traverse City, MI 49686.
A celebration of life to honor Maggie will take place on March 16 At 3 p.m., with a time of fellowship from 2 to 3 p.m. and 3:30 to 5 p.m., at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 305 Sixth Street.
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share your memories and condolences with the family.
Published on March 12, 2017