MORTON — John S. Bailey, 71, passed away on Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at Luke and Joanne Hickey’s home in Morton, Ill.
He was born on December 11, 1950, in Kewanee, Ill., to Charles and Betty (Scott) Bailey. John was preceded in death by both parents and one brother, James Bailey, all of Wyoming, Ill.
He is survived by one brother, Jeff (Helen) Bailey of Arlington, Texas; four sisters, Janet Bailey (John Driscoll) of North Plains, Ore., Julie Bailey of Salmon Creek, Wash., Jane (Lee) Dahmer of Grayslake, Ill. and Joanne (Luke) Hickey of Morton, Ill.; and many nieces and nephews.
John’s moderate intellectual disability didn’t stop him from living a life filled with love, joy and family. In his early years, he lived in Wyoming, Lacon, and Dixon. While living in Lacon, he enjoyed spending time watching sheep and other farm animals in a nearby field. In the 1970s and early 80s, he participated in Special Olympics events like the 50 yard dash and long jump. John spent many years working with Abilities Plus in Kewanee and the Tazewell County Resource Center (TCRC) in Morton, both non-profit organizations that support individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities.
Staff members, friends, and family alike will all remember his gentle demeanor and enduring curiosity, often asking anyone he met what their birthday was or if they had siblings. John loved the vaudeville comedy acts of The Three Stooges and the music of Lawrence Welk, and he delighted in giving unique middle names to the pets of his siblings, nieces, and nephews. He was a member of the Morton United Methodist Church and loved to sing along to hymns and celebrate holidays like Christmas and Easter. John inspired others to find joy and beauty in the little things in life, and his special light shined brightly to all who knew him.
Cremation rites will be accorded. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at Morton United Methodist Church in Morton, with Pastor Bill Novak officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the service at the church. John’s service will be live streamed via https://subspla.sh/jjnt7b8. Burial will be in Wyoming Cemetery in Wyoming, Ill.
Memorials may be made to Abilities Plus in Kewanee, Ill., Tazewell County Resource Center (TCRC) in Morton, Ill., or the charity of your choice.
Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.
To leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.knappjohnson.com.