Anyone who had spent any amount of time with Bailey was sure to notice his determined prowess and no nonsense work ethic. However, a small few were privileged to get to know the other side of him—his dry sense of humor.
City council member Al Edwards, who said Bailey lived up the street from his parents, first met Mr. Bailey after he graduated from college and came back to Calhoun.
“Bill was a funny character; he had a very sharp wit and sense of humor,” said Edwards. “He didn’t let that side of him always show.”
Edwards witnessed Bailey’s strong mentality, but had no problem in putting it back to Bailey.
“I wouldn’t let it get to me when he would snap at me; I would give it right back to him,” said Edwards. “He was a tough lawyer, very competent, and I would call him my friend.”
Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer was still in shock after hearing the news of Bailey’s passing over the weekend, but said that Bailey will surely be missed.
“I’ve worked with him ever since I’ve become mayor, and a little before that when I was on the council,” said Palmer. “We worked well together; he will be missed tremendously.”
Mayor Palmer went on to say that Bailey has served both Gordon County and Calhoun for years and was “very beneficial to our city.”
Eddie Peterson, Calhoun City Administrator, said he knew Bailey for over 30 years.
“Bill Bailey was an excellent County and Municipal attorney. After 30 years dealing with local government issues, one might say Bill knew his stuff,” said Peterson. “He was very straight forward and sometimes blunt; he did not suffer fools gladly.”
Peterson added, “Bill’s solid legal handiwork will be with Calhoun for years to come.”
Council member George Crowley, who has known Bailey since their time together at the University of Georgia, echoed the sentiment.
“Bill was Bill,” said Crowley. “If he had an opinion, he was going to let it be known, which I think was a great strength for this city.”
Calhoun City Clerk Paul Worley knew Bailey well; both Worley and Bailey’ s youngest sons have been close their whole lives, according to Worley.
“Palmer and I have been on sports teams together from t-ball to high school basketball, so Bill and Stella were always in the stands cheering us on,” said Worley. “I remember vividly Bill taking me to my first Georgia game in Athens; I have a lot of fond memories of Bill growing up and I enjoyed working with him at City Hall.”
Worley went on to say that he has been Calhoun City Clerk for only a year, but Bill always took the time to answer any questions he might have and he will miss him.
Council member David Hammond said Bailey was a classic example of a Southern lawyer.
"His 30 plus years of practice in government law allowed him to speak with confidence concerning issues that frequently face city and counties," said Hammond. "Bill felt very comfortable playing the role of either advocate or adversary."
Bailey was a graduate of the University of Georgia where he earned a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a Juris Doctorate in 1971. He was a member of the prestigious Sphinx Society and served his country during the Vietnam era.