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Passing of Bob Bailey

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Earlier this month IMA-NA and the industrial minerals industry lost a long term colleague and friend when Bob Bailey passed on June 8th. Many of us worked closely with Bob over the years. He will be missed, but not forgotten. Below you will find his obituary which can also be found here


Robert L. Bailey passed away in Beaverton, Oregon on June 8, 2018.

Bob was born on December 23, 1944 to Helen and James Bailey in Great Falls, Montana. He grew up in Montana, first as a farm boy near Hobson. At the age of eight, he hand fed baby lambs and learned to drive a wheat truck. Later, his family moved to Great Falls where he graduated from Central Catholic High School, class of 1963. Bob played football and basketball while at Central. He then attended Montana State University, Bozeman where he received his Bachelor of Science (1967) and Master of Science (1970) in Geology. He was in ROTC and the U.S. Army from 1968 - 1976 and was honorably discharged as a Captain.

Bob met the love of his life, Sharon Skeel, who was attending the rival college, University of Montana, Missoula. Bob and Sharon shared a deeply loving life and were married for over fifty years. Bob and Sharon have two daughters, Angela and Colette, and five grandchildren.

Many adventures began for Bob as he started his long career in Geology. During graduate school he worked with the USGS in the Spanish Peaks, Montana. He did his graduate thesis while in the Little Rocky Mountains near Zortman. For a few years after graduate school, Bob, joined by Sharon and their growing family, worked as a geologist for the Yogo Sapphire Mine at Utica, Montana.

Switching industries, Bob began a forty year career in oil services which first took him and his family to live in Ireland and Singapore. A move back to the U.S. continued the adventures to Missouri, Texas, Wyoming and back again to Texas. In 2015, while living in Houston, Texas, Bob retired as Vice President of Global Minerals at MI-SWACO. Since his retirement, he has continued to work as a consultant in oil services.

The thing Bob loved best about his work was making new friends and seeing the world. Bob was a very laid back and calm guy. He never let bumpy flights, bad airline food or long flight delays bother him. His travels took him to every corner of the globe. After their daughters were grown, Bob took Sharon along every chance he could. He had many humorous tales to tell about some of the situations he found himself in, whether it be high in the Andes, the Mojave Desert or somewhere in Morocco. Bob had a very fun loving and generous nature.

He loved to sail on any lake or ocean and any size boat or catamaran. Bob and Sharon had many fun years sailing in the Gulf of Mexico and on Flathead Lake, Montana. A camera was always with Bob and the family treasures all of the fun albums he put together from all the years of travel and time spent with his family. Most important to Bob was family. He treasured these few years of retirement living near his grandchildren and children in Oregon.

Bob is survived by his wife, Sharon, daughter Angela, daughter Colette (Jonathon Riley) and five grandchildren, Sullivan, Keegan, Mia, L.J. and Noa, his sister, Myrna (Tony Irwin), brother Jim (Karen Bailey), and many loved nephews and nieces.

To our beloved husband, dad and grandfather - we love you and will miss you dearly.

Tags:  Bob Bailey  industrial minerals industry  obituary 

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