Colonel Don Bailey, M.D., 80

Funeral services for Colonel Don Bailey M.D., age 80, of Norfolk, NE formerly of O’Neill, were held on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church in O’Neill. Burial was in the O’Neill Cemetery with Military Rites by the O’Neill American Legion Simonson Post #93. Don passed away January 24, 2017, at the Norfolk Veteran’s Home in Norfolk, NE. Donald Dwane Bailey was born on November 29, 1936 in Schuyler, NE to John and June (Welsh) Bailey. Colonel graduated from Schuyler High School in 1954. Don joined the United States Army in November of 1954 and was trained at Ft. Bliss and Ft. Sam Houston, TX and was stationed in Glenhousen, Germany. After his honorable discharge, he enrolled in Ottawa University in Kansas. Don married Patricia Brown in Mendota, IL on August 24, 1958. After he graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry, Don then went to medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago. He graduated with his medical degree in 1963. He started his medical career with an internship in Des Moines, IA. He took his residency in Seattle, WA. He later worked in Indian Hospitals in Tuba City, AZ and Tahlequah, OK. In 1971, Don and his family moved to O’Neill, NE where he was the only Board Certified Surgeon in the area. This practice was affiliated with several area hospitals in Ainsworth, O’Neill, Norfolk, NE and Winner, SD. In the late 1980’s, Don rejoined the Nebraska Army Reserves and was deployed to Iraq during the Gulf War for nine months. After his deployment, he was stationed at Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks, AK and then at Ft. Sill, Lawton, OK. In the summer of 2000, Colonel Bailey volunteered to deploy to Korea for the summer so that other surgeons could spend that time with their young families. He also covered a five-month deployment to Haiti. Colonel Don retired from the military in 2001. Don and Pat, his wife, purchased a cabin in Delta Junction, AK, and for some time after that he would spend six months a year in Alaska and six months in O’Neill ranching. On July 30, 2012, Don received a head injury while working cattle resulting in severe brain injury. Don is survived by his wife of 58 years, Pat Bailey of O’Neill; three children, Quana (David) Laursen of O’Neill, Linn (Tom) Schommer of Norfolk, Marc Bailey of Portland, OR, foster daughter Jolene Lopez of Portland, OR; six grandchildren, Terry (Shaylee) Laursen, Tate (Taylor Twibell) Laursen, Lacy (Steven) Rueschenberg, Amy Schommer, Ryan Schommer, Jordyn Schommer; and two great- grandchildren, Ashton and Addison Rueschenberg. Don was preceded in death by his parents. Memorials may be made to the family for future designation. Please visit biglinsmortuary.com to leave condolences.

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