Winifred Gail Bailey

Category: Obituaries
Created on Friday, 06 October 2017 14:11
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Winifred Gail Bailey

Winifred Gail Bailey, a former Hollywood photographer, died Oct. 4 at the Sitka Pioneers Home, two days after celebrating her 100th birthday.

Winifred was born Oct. 2, 1917, in Los Angeles, Calif., to William and Edith Grace (Chaddock) Stenger. She was their second child, but was raised alone, as her older sister died at 22.

Winifred graduated from Hollywood High School, and continued to live in Hollywood, working as a talented professional photographer there in the 1940s.

Winifred credited her mother with getting her involved in photography. She started out retouching photos for a photographer and  later ran her own business under the name Winifred Gail Photography. The name was proudly displayed on the wall outside her studio and she preferred to be called Winifred Gail throughout her life. 

She photographed many famous Hollywood actors and actresses of the era. Winifred was also the director of the Art Department at Hollywood High and was a talented artist, especially with drawing and painting.

She also played the organ and the piano and enjoyed the classics in music. Winifred was a Christian Scientist and was proud to say she had practiced science and health with key to the scriptures with very few exceptions in her 100 years.

Winifred also was a talented musician and enjoyed taking organ lessons over the years to better herself. She loved playing in large churches where for many years she was known as “The Organ Lady.”

Winifred and Jay Richard Bailey married in 1940. Their one child, Paul Bailey, was born 18 years later. Winifred became a homemaker and enjoyed her time raising their son, Paul.

Winifred had always been very active and loved to take walks and play ping-pong, which she did into her 90s.

“She was a really good ping-pong player – she could beat us all, grandkids, everyone” her son, Paul, said. “We’d get excited when we beat her.”

She had a great sense of humor and was a delight to be around, a Pioneers Home friend said.

She traveled extensively, including trips to Switzerland and Japan, and  lived in Hawaii, California and Alaska, coming to Alaska in March 2012 when her son began work on the Alaska Marine Highway.

She moved to Sitka in October 2013 where she joined the Sitka Pioneers Home family. She quickly became integrated into the goings on around the home where she particularly loved to play bingo and Rummikub. And music always made her smile.

Winifred was preceded in death by her husband, who died after a fall in 1990.

She is survived by her son, Paul Bailey now of Sequim, Wash.; grandsons Ian of Burlington, Vt., Matthew of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Charles of Portland, Ore.; granddaughter Malia of North Carolina; and three great-grandchildren.