William R. Bailey Jr.
Camden — William (Bill) Raymond Bailey Jr., of Camden, passed away peacefully Jan. 21, 2014, surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Syracuse, N.Y. Oct. 11, 1932, to Dora and William R. Bailey, Bill grew up in Elbridge with his older sisters, Lois and Elma. He graduated from Elbridge High School Class of 1951 and was drafted into the Army and entered service in October 1953 just after the Korean War.
After serving as a sergeant in the Army, Bill returned home late in 1955 to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York and joined the Jordon Lodge of Freemasons. In January 1956 Bill started at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York where his gregarious and enterprising nature led him to become president of the Student Union, join the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and to start a successful business delivering students laundry in his blue Plymouth. After graduating from Saint Lawrence with an BA in Economics on June 5, 1960, he attended the New York Institute of Finance's New York Stock Exchange training programs for Security Analysis, and Registered Representative Certification.
While in New York City, Bill reconnected with Barbara Hamilton who had served with him as vice president of the Student Union at Saint Lawrence. Upon completing his NYSE certification, Bill returned to Skaneateles to start his career in equities brokerage at the Syracuse office of Hornblower & Weeks - Hemphill, Noyes. However, when they could, he and Barbara continued visiting each other and in 1962 they married in her hometown of Caldwell, N.J. After starting out in a small apartment downtown, they moved to a cabin on Lake Skaneateles which became the center of their very social lives with Monday night bowling, the Skaneateles Country Club, and parties with friends and business associates. Bill loved cars, and the new and innovative, and so in 1963 he bought a brand new Volkswagen Beetle for his commute to Syracuse where he settled into his work in securities industry and their life together.
In 1970 Hornblower & Weeks - Hemphill, Noyes merged into Loeb Rhodes & Co where Bill served as compliance officer/sales manager and that summer Bill and Barbara's son William the 3rd was born. In 1977 the family moved to Coventry, Conn. where Barbara’s family owned a fulfillment business. Bill partnered with Tom DeCandia in a car sales and service business, and this time buying and selling used cars fostered his love for Volvos. Being a master social networker served Bill well as a wholesale broker traveling to the regional auctions and hunting down cars for the local dealers he knew as well as his retail clients. However, after a few years Bill became interested in the new trend in discount brokerage and joined up with the Hartford office of Quick & Reilly.
After over 20 years together Bill and Barbara decided to separate. Bill moved to Longmeadow, Mass. just south of the new Quick & Reilly Springfield office, which he had petitioned for and recently opened. Here he managed the development of one of the first systems for Direct Order Entry to the floor of the NYSE.
Bill started dating Nancy Syme and in the spring of 1988 left Quick and Reilly to move to Nancy's home in Camden and returned to his love of buying and selling cars. Once again he built his business networking with the local dealers, large and small, driving to the auctions, buying and selling cars, and selling to clients directly. Volvos seemed his favorite, but he was always looking to find a match between a friend or acquaintance in need, and a car appropriate to fill those needs at the auctions. Bill loved being on the open road. He twice drove across country, first taking his son over to his Coast Guard posting in Alaska, and on a separate occasion driving around the West Coast and then back to Maine. Bill enjoyed his work delivering cars around Maine, and his road trips with Nancy, friends, and family. Right to the last Bill was enjoying trips to the top of Mount Battie and Lincolnville Beach.
During his years in Maine Bill loved to collect and catalog everything. His collection of suits, ties, and tires was impressive and he was never without the notebook full of used car prices, weather, and bird sighting data he kept in the breast pocket of one of the many layers he wore. He affirmed to the end that he had "never been warm in his whole life," and here in Maine anyway, he always seemed to be wearing a minimum of three layers and often five. He loved grilling — for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — on any of the several grills he had collected and refurbished.
Throughout his life, everywhere he went, Bill was a master at making friends and new connections to the old. He will be remembered by many for always having a good story to tell that in some way connected the listener to any one of a number of people or places — in the area or even in another state — and for having the most current, but already dog eared, copy of the Kelley Blue Book tucked away in his pocket.
Bill is survived by his beloved partner Nancy Syme of Camden; sister Lois Carroll of Ellenton, Fla.; his son, William Bailey the 3rd and his wife Judy of West Hartford, Conn.; Meikle and Hamilton Hall of Camden; Thayer and Annie Syme of Danbury, Conn.; and five grandchildren; Maitland and Lindsey Bailey, Duncan and Fiona Hall, and Gryffin Syme, as well as numerous friends from New York, Connecticut, Maine, and across the country.
A Masonic Service and reception will be held Saturday, May 24, at 2 p.m. in Erickson Hall at Point Lookout, 67 Atlantic Highway, Northport. In memory of Bill strike up a conversation with someone you don't know, and make a new connection with the old.