Ruth Bailey was a much beloved Mother to daughter Jan Thompson and son Randy Bailey. Born near Spofford, TX in railroad housing, she was the first in her family to go to college (Mary Hardin Baylor) and receive her Masters degree (University of Houston). She married Weldon Bailey (deceased) in 1946 and taught Home Economics in Cleveland, TX and Houston, TX for 48-50 years focusing on teaching skills in sewing, cooking, budgeting and child development. She remarried in her 80’s to David Reagan (deceased).
Her most original trait was a “sweetness” inside her that made everyone love her and feel unconditionally loved right back. She struggled for 25 years in a marriage that was very challenging. In her day, women had no credit of their own and not enough salary to raise 2 kids on her own. My Father was charming, entrepreneurial, and had a strong work ethic. Unfortunately he had no capacity for fatherhood as his addiction to alcohol made him unable to be a loving partner or attentive father. He came home from WWII with big plans but was unable to follow through. Mom turned to religion and was the best “Christian” in act and word I’ve ever met. Her example of nonjudgmental, kind and very centered has taught me by example. She found freedom as a divorcee to travel, give loving and constant care to her own mother Elvera Zerr, from Hondo, TX and mentored several students along the way. Her 2nd “daughter" is Claudia Sanderlin and I’m so glad she is in my family now.
She loved to travel and had Timeshares in Bandera and New Braunfels, TX. She also traveled to Europe, Israel, Sicily, and San Diego. She was a 5th or 6th generation Texan—one of our ancestors came to Texas from Alsace Lorraine in the 1800’s by ship; he was also a founder of Castroville,TX.
She had a special relationship with Jack Eve (deceased) my beloved husband. He used to say she was “the mother he never had” and she said he was “the son she never had”. Her 2nd husband, David Reagan (deceased), was a kind and loving stepDad and husband. Never say you’re too old to find love, as Mom remarried in her mid eighties! Her sister Doris died December 2023 in Houston.
She leaves a legacy of kindness, love and wisdom behind. She created an art piece of a quilt that hangs in my home now and forever; she found mental health and housing resources for my brother Randy, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early 20’s and is now 73. She worked full time and mothered full time for too many years and then fully enjoyed her church, children, friends and strangers along the way.
She used to tell me she had a “deal” with Jesus—to go to sleep one night and not wake up. She died in her own bed, having worn out her mind and body to the fullest.