Cover photo for James George Bailey's Obituary
James George Bailey Profile Photo
1936 James 2021

James George Bailey

September 11, 1936 — June 3, 2021

James George Bailey, 84, died peacefully on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at the CVPH Medical Center. A native of Elizabethtown, NY, Jim graduated from high school in 1953, and then attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. After 2 years, he transferred to SUNY Albany, earning a Bachelor’s in Mathematics in 1957, and a Master’s in 1958. He taught Math at Beekmantown Central School for 12 years and was an instructor in Mathematics at SUNY Plattsburgh. In 1966, Jim was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for an additional Master of Arts in Teaching at Cornell. Jim left his teaching career due to deafness and then served as the Director of the Adirondack Center Museum in Elizabethtown. Eventually he returned to work in Plattsburgh for the Clinton County Real Property Office, also serving as the Historian of the City of Plattsburgh.
As Historian, Jim led walking tours of downtown Plattsburgh, opened the Macdonough Monument for holidays and rallied community support for numerous special projects. Jim was a Board member of the Clinton County Historical Association Museum and he served as Treasurer of the NY State Municipal Historians’ Association. He loved being outdoors in all seasons and was a lifelong member of the Algonquin Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. ADK friends had a grand time tracing old routes through the wilderness with Jim. As 46er number 233, he led many young hikers from Camp Poko on adventures into the High Peaks. A member of the First Presbyterian Church of Plattsburgh, Jim served on the Session, the Outreach Council and the Presbytery Committee on Inclusion. Jim devoted himself to volunteer service for his entire adult life, with intelligence, good humor, and dedication, cheerfully putting service before self.
Jim was a gifted writer, maintaining a vast correspondence and penning numerous articles in the Adirondac magazine and in the CCHA Antiquarian. Jim couldn’t move mountains, but he could make sure that they were properly named. With research and determination, he cut through piles of red tape at the USGS to restore the rightful name of Macdonough to a mountain in Lewis, NY, in time for the 2014 Bicentennial of the Battle of Plattsburgh.
Jim is survived by his wife Anne of 53 years, his sister Dorothy, his son Walter of Lakewood, CO, his daughter-in-law Holly (Duke) and two granddaughters Clara and Lucy. He was greatly loved and admired by all. His son David Claude predeceased Jim. Jim enjoyed life thoroughly, but over the last 10 years Parkinson’s Disease posed increasing, and finally insurmountable, challenges. Memorial gifts may be made to the Clinton County Historical Association & Museum, the Adirondack Mountain Club, or the First Presbyterian Church of Plattsburgh. Calling hours are on June 10, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Heald Funeral Home, 48 Court Street, Plattsburgh. A Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held at the Mountain House in Keene, NY, on July 9 from 4 to 7 pm.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 10, 2021

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Heald Funeral Home, Inc. - Plattsburgh

48 Court Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901

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Norton Cemetery

, Keene, NY 12942

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