Obituaries » Gene V Bailey

August 27, 1923 - May 17, 2018

Funeral Service Date
June 9, 2018
Funeral Service Time
02:00 pm

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Gene Vern Bailey (August 27, 1923 – May 17, 2018)

Gene passed away early Thursday morning at Hoosier Village in Indianapolis Indiana, three months shy of his 95th birthday.

Gene grew up in Rush County Indiana, the second of four children born to Oscar Bailey and Maude Bell. Oscar was the third of nineteen children; the only one to come to Indiana. The days of Gene’s youth included milking cows, feeding chickens and hoeing fields.  He attended New Castle HS (1938 – 1941) where he played clarinet in the band. He was elected president of the local 4H club and was awarded with a trip to Chicago for a livestock competition.

After high school, college did not seem to be a viable option, so Gene began working at Ingersoll Steel and Disc in New Castle, as had his father. When WW2 broke out, he spent nearly three years in the Navy (1943 – 1946) or, as he would say, “two years, nine months and twenty-seven days”. He was stationed principally in the Philippine Islands. From a ship, he witnessed the mushroom cloud of the second atomic bomb. Once the war ended, his military service allowed him to attend Indiana University at Bloomington on the G.I. Bill, which had been enacted in 1944.

It was in a history class that he spied the love of his life, Marjorie Rita Schnelker (Marge) of New Haven, Indiana. Marge was also a WW2 Navy veteran. Gene was quite shy but had a car and bravely offered Marge a ride one day as she was scurrying to class. Their first date was spent visiting a Bloomington area quarry. Gene and Marge were married at the start of their junior year. The marriage would continue for 62 years and produce seven children. Their first child, Bill, came along the following summer. Gene and Marge forged ahead with their education, both graduating in June of 1950.

Gene graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. After college, he began working for the Internal Revenue Service in Gary Indiana, which was a thriving city at that time. Gene continued to further his professional knowledge; the IRS sent him to the University of Michigan for advanced officer training. He became a CPA in 1957.

In 1958, he and the family, now including four children, moved to Fort Wayne, where Gene joined the accounting firm of Leonard J Andorfer and Co. (LJA). He later became a partner in LJA, where he built a practice serving clients ranging in size from sole proprietorships up to a company with sales that reached $400 million. He specialized in tax services for individuals, corporations and estates. In addition to serving clients in Fort Wayne, Gene developed a substantial practice in Portland, Indiana. In 1986, Gene’s practice was acquired by Geo. S. Olive, which later merged with BKD.

Vacations revolved around family. Gene purchased a travel trailer and took the family on epic road trips each summer for many years. He also bought a lake cottage in northern Indiana, which became the location of many fond memories for family and friends alike. The annual Schnelker reunion would generally draw more than 100 relatives.

Gene retired from public accounting in 1989 at age 66.

Gene and Marge purchased a retirement home in Bloomington IN, where they enjoyed attending IU games and the cultural and intellectual aspects of a college town. They especially loved Mini University. They traveled extensively including Europe and the Middle East. They became snowbirds, spending each October through May in Deerfield Beach, Florida, where they enjoyed walking the beach and dining with close friends. Gene, along with Marge’s youngest brother Don, purchased a fishing boat. Spending time with their seven children and grandchildren was their greatest pleasure.

For the last ten years of her life, Marjorie struggled with Alzheimer’s Disease. As her primary caretaker, Gene remained faithfully by her side up to the day she died on August 11th of 2011 at age 87.

Gene eventually visited every state except Alaska. A planned trip to that state was negated by a heart attack. He played golf into his early 80s and was a loyal Cubs fan.

Gene was known for his strong work ethic and integrity, for being nonjudgmental, generous and loyal. Although he endured a litany of health issues, Gene remained good natured to the end and was well liked by all who met him. He was under the care of Hospice since late April. With his passing from this world, he will fulfill his greatest desire, which is to be reunited with “his wonderful wife” Marjorie.

Gene is survived by his sister Marilyn of Orlando, Florida; six children including Bill of Ft Wayne, Mark and wife Jeanne of Carmel, Paul of Zionsville, Lisa of Zionsville, John and wife Jenny of Brentwood TN, Chris and wife Kathy of Fort Wayne. Daughter Mary died tragically in 1991. She is survived by her husband Harold.  As of this date, Gene has ten grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

If you wish to honor Gene with a memorial, you might consider the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, the National Kidney Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Foundation. Gene was impacted by each of these diseases.

Gene will be buried next to Marjorie at Fort Wayne Catholic Cemetery. A memorial service will be held on the grounds of the cemetery at Divine Mercy Funeral Home; 3500 Lake Avenue in Fort Wayne on Saturday June 9 at 2 PM followed by a burial ceremony. Visitation preceding the service from 12 noon until 2 PM.   A celebratory gathering will take place afterwards at Don Hall’s Old Gas House from approximately 3:30 to 5:00 PM.


Visitation Information:

Divine Mercy Funeral Home

Phone: 260-426-2044

Address: 3500 Lake Avenue Fort Wayne Indiana, 46805

Visitation Date

June 9, 2018

Visitation Time

12:00 pm – 02:00 pm

Funeral Service Information:

Divine Mercy Funeral Home

Phone: 260-426-2044

Address: 3500 Lake Avenue Fort Wayne Indiana, 46805

Service Date: June 9, 2018

Service Time: 12:00 pm

Service Notes:

Funeral Service Date

June 9, 2018

Funeral Service Time

02:00 pm

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