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Published: Wednesday, 3/12/2008

Pharmacist also was a Lenawee commissioner

ADRIAN - Richard Bailey, 72, a local pharmacist for 50 years who had been vice chairman of the Lenawee County Commission, died of cancer Saturday in his home here.

He was ill for 2 1/2 years, but was able to attend commission meetings until a few months ago, his daughter, Cheryl Westbrook, said.

"His mind was brilliant," she said. "He was still on the phone, still wanted things to happen. He was pretty serious. He got things done."

A Republican, he represented Adrian's west side as District 6 commissioner since 2000. He was a member of the human services committee and liaison to the Lenawee County Medical Care Facility Board.

He helped oversee veterans affairs and represented the commission to the Area Agency on Aging and Community Mental Health.

He had been a county Republican of the Year.

"He always thought he could make everything better, and he liked to be helpful," his daughter said. "He was very positive, and he was a good listener."

He ran unsuccessfully in 1994 for state Senate and in 1998 for state House of Representatives. He told The Blade in 1998 his background in business would make him effective.

A 1953 graduate of Adrian High School, Mr. Bailey was a 1957 pharmacy graduate from what is now Ferris State University. His father, Myron "Bill" Bailey, was a pharmacist and a partner in Hard and Bailey Drug Store, and young Richard joined the business.

He was in the Army Reserve and was called to active duty in the early 1960s as a member of the 392nd Chemical Company. In his absence, his father closed the downtown drugstore. When young Mr. Bailey returned, he and his father worked at their store on West Maumee Street.

Mr. Bailey sold the business in 1989, but continued to work there until 1992. He was director of pharmacy for Addison Community Hospital from 1992 to 1998. Afterward, he worked in the Hudson Pharmacy.

He was a past commodore of the Devils Lake Yacht Club.

Surviving are his wife, Beverly Bailey, whom he married Nov. 27, 1957; son, Mark Bailey; daughter, Cheryl Westbrook, and a grandson.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today in St. Stephen's Evangelical Church, Adrian, of which he was a member. Arrangements are by the Wagley Funeral Home, Adrian. The family suggests tributes to the Lenawee Medical Care Facility, the church, or a charity of the donor's choice.

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