William J. ‘Bill’ Bailey. Ed.D. of Pinehurst, NC passed away peacefully March 6 at the Hospice House, comforted and cared for by his granddaughter Hanly Walker.

Dr. Bailey was born in Knoxville TN, August 13, 1929. He grew up in Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina while his father, a hydraulic construction engineer, worked on the TVA dam projects throughout the south in the 1930’s and early 1940’s. His family then moved to Michigan where he had fond memories of attending Cadillac High School.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Michigan remaining an avid life-long Wolverines fan. He married Dorie Merrill Bailey when they met as counselors at a Michigan summer camp. He was drafted into the Army during the Korean war and served his country at Fort Riley in Kansas.

He was a teacher and coach – football, basketball, and track – at the high schools in Saline and Three Rivers, Michigan. His career in education progressed when he became the principal of North Muskegon High School in Michigan.

Dr. Bailey’s true academic life started when he earned his doctorate in education from Michigan State University. In 1968 he became the founding principal of Concord High School in Wilmington DE, establishing a progressive view of education emphasizing student engagement in the learning process.

His career then headed to the University of Delaware where he eventually achieved the rank of full professor in the graduate School of Education. He was well-respected in his field and had many publications- books and journals – that established him as a leader in educational leadership and organization.

His career in academia next brought him to North Carolina where at Appalachia State and Fayetteville State he established new programs in education leadership and organization.

His retirement allowed him to pursue his love of golf which is what brought he and his wife to Pinehurst originally. His loved his family, his career, the University of Michigan, and living and playing golf in Pinehurst. The last year of his life was enriched by the presence of his granddaughter Hanly Walker who chose to begin a new career in the Pinehurst area to be near her grandfather. Her care and comfort over the year was a huge help to Coach, as his grandchildren called him.

Bill Bailey is pre-deceased by his wife Doris Merrill Bailey and his son Robert M. Bailey. He is survived by his son William ‘Skip’ Bailey, his son’s wife, Beverly Clendening, their son Nathan Bailey, and his granddaughter Hanly Abagail Walker.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 1:00 PM at the Boles Funeral Home Chapel – 35 Parker Lane, Pinehurst, NC 28374.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Bill’s name may be made to First Health Hospice and Palliative Care – 150 Applecross Rd. Pinehurst, NC 28374.

Online condolences can be made at

Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.

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