Peter “Pete” E. A. Bailes


image of Peter E Bailes

Peter E Bailes

Peter “Pete” E. A. Bailes (81) died Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at Tacoma General Hospital from complications related to a wound on his foot followed by a heart attack.

He is survived by his wife Annette P. Bailes, daughter Christine Wood and husband Warren Wood, son Michael Bailes, son Edward Bailes and fiancé Holly Cooper, daughter Theresa Bailes and step son Gilbert Robbins and fiancé Melinda Byrd, step son Richard Robbins and fiancé Heather Rydeen; grandchildren Jacob, Trevor, Kaitlynn, Kirsty, Chelsea, Sydney, Brianna, Jessica, Ashley, Caprice, Cassius, Simon, Chance, Kyler, Evelyn and Adelyn: great grandchildren; Harmony, Sofia, Haley, Elijah, Theo.

He is preceded in death by his first wife Patricia M. Bailes, daughter Maria Bailes and daughter in law Judy Bailes.

Peter was born to Samuel Peat Bailes and Lavinia Mugford Bailes on September 2, 1938 in Leeds, County of Yorkshire, United Kingdom, and was their only child.  The family immigrated to the United States on the vessel Mauretania, arriving in New York City on December 15, 1947, then traveling across country after a short stay with some relatives in Pennsylvania, they settled in Milwaukie, Oregon to raise their son.

Pete graduated from Milwaukie Union High School in 1957 and although he was offered a chance to attend Veterinary School at Washington State University, he chose to enter the U. S. Navy.  Shortly after joining the US Navy, he returned on leave to Milwaukie, Oregon and courted and married his first wife, Patricia M Pool, on December 26, 1960.

While in the U. S. Navy, he was stationed in many locations on the Eastern Seaboard, including Chincoteague, Virginia, Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland and Naval Station Argentia, in Newfoundland Canada, as part of his service with the Airborne Early Warning Unit for the U. S. Navy.

There they welcomed their first child Christine Bailes (Wood).  Pete was then transferred to Yuma AZ, where Michael Bailes and Maria Bailes were born.  After leaving the Navy, Pete decided to join the Air Force and was stationed in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  Here they welcomed their fourth child Edward Bailes. Shortly after Edwards birth Pete served one year in Vietnam, and returned for final active duty at Bergstrom AFB in Austin, Texas.  He was discharged in March, 1969 from active duty and his family moved back to the Seattle area, where he joined the Air Force Reserves and served at McChord Air Force Base until his retirement in September, 1995.  While in the reserve, Pete spent a short time with Sperry Rand, later he went to work at Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company.

They welcomed their fifth child Theresa Bailes in 1978.  Pete started as a lineman and retired as a manager/Engineer from Qwest communications in 1990.  He then worked in several areas of electronics communications, which he loved, spending time working for Sperry Rand on the Boeing 747 initial auto pilot, then for Fluke Electronics in Montlake Terrace, and eventually worked as a contractor for the Federal Aviation Administration, working on cell towers communications equipment all over the western United States.

His wife, Patricia, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and passed away after complications from a bone marrow transplant in 1992.

In 1993 he became acquainted with Annette Robbins via an on-line grief support group on the Prodigy Network, as she had lost her husband Ronnie in 1991.  Pete lived in the Seattle area and Annette lived in her native Louisiana.  Through several years of general support for each other and truly getting to know each other, Pete and Annette became very good friends.  About five months later, each decided to meet each other at a neutral location in Las Vegas, NV in May 1995.  In September, 1995, she flew up to the Seattle area to meet his family and celebrate his birthday.  Upon returning home from that trip, he proposed to her and they began to plan how they could begin a life together at some point.  It made more sense for Annette to re-locate to the Pacific Northwest, so she gave notice to her employer for 20 years and prepared to move after the marriage.  His youngest daughter, Theresa, accompanied him on the drive to West Monroe, LA for the wedding on May 18, 1996, in West Monroe, Louisiana.  The following day, they drove Theresa to New Orleans, LA to fly back home to Seattle, and shortly thereafter began a cross-country trip with a lot of her belongings.  They arrived in Kent, WA late on May 30, 1996 to begin their new life together in Washington State.

Not too long after their marriage he began his work for a microwave radio communications company and worked his way up to Senior Customer Service Representative and Training Specialist, traveling to all continents except Antartica.  He loved his travels while working and tried to see as many of the areas as he could while he was there working.  Later on, he worked at Cruise West, a small ship cruise line in Seattle, and made many friends there who continued to stay in touch on Facebook.  He loved his contact with the guests that he helped transfer to and from the vessels, and then later on as an Expeditor for some of the vessels at their Marine Annex in Ballard.  It was while he was working there that he learned he had colon-rectal cancer, but it was discovered early, radiation was performed, followed by surgery and chemotherapy, and the cancer was never to return again.  He was very proud to have beat this dreaded disease.

Pete believed in being involved in whatever he loved.  As his children grew up, he was involved in their school, and served on the School Board at St. Philomena Parish School in Des Moines, WA, volunteering there in many capacities, including help run a successful auction fundraising activity for many years.  As the kids moved to high school, he volunteered at Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, WA.  He always volunteered at the church he was attending, first at Holy Family Parish in White Center, St. Philomena in Des Moines and then at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Covington, after moving across the valley into Kent.  There he volunteered in Security every other Sunday night at the church, and for many years was a Eucharistic Minister, and also served as a money counter.

He was a life-long bowler, and bowled twice a week in two leagues, a mixed league on Sunday night in a team named Family Affair, and a Senior League on Wednesday mornings.  He loved golf, and enjoyed playing with his two sons and  friends he regularly played golf with that he met on a church choir trip from his wife’s church, Kent United Methodist Church.  Pete thoroughly enjoyed camping especially camping in trailers or his motor-home.  He enjoyed many trips with friends and family, he loved the outdoors and couldn’t get enough of the beauty here in the Northwest.  In 2010, he and Annette started geocaching.  They enjoyed traveling all around Washington State, other states, and Canada and Mexico.  He often remarked how he wished he had known about geocaching when he was traveling all over the world for the microwave radio company.  Their geocaching led them to plan together and host several Auburn Geocaching Adventures and in 2019 the Valley Cities GeoTour.  He loved the adventure of seeking something hidden, seeing a beautiful landscape, meeting other geocaching friends at events, etc.  He also volunteered with Rainier Chorale, and served on their Board of Directors for three years.  He recorded each of their concerts for many years, and provided a library of all concerts through their December 2019 concert.

His loving and giving spirit will be greatly missed by all his family and friends, but will carry on in his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Contributions may be made to a charity of your choice, or to the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association or Rainier Chorale.


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