Nelson “Sam” Ward Bailey Jr. died peacefully on Nov. 4, 2022 following a period of declining health. He was born on Aug. 3, 1936 to Nelson and Marion Bailey in Damariscotta and raised in Newcastle. He spent his summers at Willow Beach Camps on China Lake.
He was educated at Franklin Grammar School and Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, where he was valedictorian and president of his class. He earned his BS from Wesleyan University and DDS from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Bub, as he was affectionately known by those closest to him, was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Jean Bailey; and his wife, Carol Sideris Bailey. He is survived by his high school sweetheart and loving partner, BJ Wright of Bath; his sister, Joanne Campbell, of Newcastle; his daughter, Kim Bowers of Nashua, N.H.; his son, Peter Bailey and wife, Margaret of Merrimack, N.H.; and his son, David Bailey and wife, Amy, of Fuquay Varina, N.C.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jacob Bowers, Evan Bowers, Owen Bailey, Sam Bailey, Will Bailey, Caitlyn Bailey, and Cameron Bailey; and many nieces and nephews. He was also adored by BJ’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
After high school Sam served as a Sergeant in Army Intelligence and then worked for over 40 years as a dentist in Summit, N.J.
Throughout his years in dentistry he genuinely put the cares of his patients ahead of his own. He truly enjoyed meeting people and hearing their stories.
Following his retirement from dentistry, he volunteered at Mid Coast Hospital, Maine Maritime Museum and the American Red Cross of Northern New England.
Sam loved all sports. He played basketball and ran track in high school. He coached youth baseball and basketball for many years. He loved watching the Yankees play, despite his father being a die-hard Red Sox fan.
He was a published poet, tall-tale teller, and never failed to bring laughter to a room. He enjoyed monthly poker nights with friends, summer trips to the Outer Banks, classical music and dessert, especially ice cream.
Sam was the most laid back and understanding father a child could ever hope to have. He did not have a serious bone in his body. He was the only person we all knew who could wiggle his ears and every child he met was challenged to attempt it. Despite trying earnestly, they all failed.
Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross of Northern New England, redcross.org/donations/ways-to-donate/tributes.html
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting stronghancock.com.