CLARENCE CHARLES BAILEY (BUNGO)
Clarence Charles Bailey (“Bungo”), 68, passed away early Monday morning, Sept. 10, 2018, surrounded by his family.
Bungo was born March 20, 1950, to Clarence P Bailey and Florence Bailey (Arndt) on the family farm in Berks County, PA and was joined by his sister in 1953. He grew up and worked on the family farm, partnering with his father to operate it after high school. Throughout high school he was an active FFA member and graduated from Hamburg High School in the Class of 1969. He was an active member of the Shartlesville, Penn. Jaycees and married the love of his life, Joan Hamm, his best friend’s younger sister Aug. 9, 1975.
He designed their first home on sketch paper and built it on the Bailey family farm in 1976. One of their first pieces of furniture was the corner cupboard he made in his makeshift wood shop to hold Joan’s dishes. Bungo farmed, in partnership with his father, over 1,200 acres with his beloved refurbished Oliver and White tractors while finishing hogs on contract and managing an 80 head cow-calf Angus operation until the early 1990’s. He then drove an 18-wheeler Peterbilt with Streamside Farms before joining White Oak Mills. Bungo hauled hogs across the nation in what was undoubtedly the cleanest and most polished 18-wheeler that ever crossed the nation in a fashion and presentation that only an old Pennsylvanian Dutchman German can do.
He courageously and faithfully moved his family of six and over 100 head of hogs to Southern Iowa in August 1993. The move was made over three days and 1,000 miles despite the “Floods of 1993” to Wayne County where his family has flourished. While managing a 100-plus gestation to finish hog operation in the early 90s he established his family in Cambria, Iowa while working as a hired hand for a local farmer. He then moved his family and hog operation to Seymour and then settled in Promise City after selling their hog operation.
Once established in Promise City, he worked construction and got back to his roots setting up a 75 head cow-calf operation. His German fortitude and resourcefulness served him well and he established Bungo Construction, working with his sons and daughter in various capacities throughout the years building custom cabinets, designing homes on scratch paper, pouring concrete, and designing and building masonry marvels. He left construction and masonry briefly to return to his 18-wheeler life in 2012 with multiple haulers, and soon returned to construction and carpentry until his illness diagnosis in March 2017. No man ever worked so hard and faithfully until he couldn’t. And then he faithfully took up “chair sentry duty” very seriously as only a German can. He would be the first to say, ”If you are going to do something, by #@$%!, do it #!@# RIGHT!” No man ever said anything as directly or well or like a “nixnootz” as Bungo did. PA Dutch jargon is the only proper way to describe the old Dutchman he was. Gut looft du.
When Bungo wasn’t on the job site, hauling hay, or tending to his cattle, he could be found fishing, hunting, gardening, or asking Joan to join him on a lazy “Sunday afternoon drive” complete with a soft serve ice cream stop. No man could catch or skin a bigger catfish, shoot sharper, tell a better story, or plant and harvest a more plentiful garden than Bungo Bailey. Like any resourceful old German, he worked the land, raised and processed animals, and provided for his family of six every day and made it look easy.
Bungo Bailey knew not a stranger, was a self-taught jack of all trades, and master of much. You knew where you stood with him, and no one worked harder, was more resourceful, or handier. There never was a more genuine or humble fellow.
Left to remember him is his devoted and his self-proclaimed “best woman ever” wife, Joan Bailey (Hamm); daughter, Jenny Louise Leonard and grandchildren, Faith and Eli (Norwalk); son, Charles Paul Bailey (wife, Tasha) and grandchildren, the late Zoey, and Madeline, McKenna, and Drake of Promise City; son, Paul Clarence Bailey (wife, Jill) and grandchild, Refina of Promise City; son, George Raymond Bailey (wife, Amber), and grandchildren, Reggie and baby Bailey of Corydon.
His father and sister precede him in death.
Many, many thanks to Dr. Baker, Dr. Wells, nursing staff of Wayne County Hospital, the congregation of Millerton Methodist Church, care coordinator Tasha Bailey, Hospice Care Services of Centerville, and all those who visited, encouraged, and loved Bungo and his family every step of every day. You are his family.
Funeral services were held Sept. 15 at Thomas Funeral Home in Corydon.
Interment followed immediately in the Corydon Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial can be sent to the family for a one-time Memorial Scholarship to be awarded to a Wayne County FFA senior.