Bailey enjoys 90th birthday party

George “Pete” Bailey stood at the front door with a smile and handshake as he greeted people at 1516 Washington Ave. in Parkersburg last Saturday afternoon.

Family and friends entered the home of Jordan and Sarah Bailey and their five children to wish Pete a happy 90th birthday. Jordan is Pete’s grandson.

Pete’s friends from St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Parkersburg, his brother Ernest Bailey of Columbus, sons Greg and Jon, grandson, great-grandchildren and other friends and relatives, numbering around 60 people, attended the birthday party.

“It was a real good party,” Pete said. “They did a good job putting it on. A lot of people from the church and family were there.”

Pete said he was surprised by the large number of people at his birthday party. He thought only family and close friends would be there.

Pete, who retired from Shell Chemical Co. in Belpre, delivers meals to homes in Parkersburg as a Salvation Army volunteer. He has been delivering meals for 31 years.

The Salvation Army of Parkersburg recognized him as Volunteer of the Year in 2013 for spending 4,000 hours helping those in need.

As a trustee, Pete helps wherever he is needed at St. Andrews United Methodist Church.

He is looking forward to once again playing golf in the Worthington Senior League beginning in April.

Pete was married to Winsome “Winnie” Bailey for 70 years. She passed away in January 2018. Both are natives of Barnesville, Ohio.

Pete arrived in Parkersburg in 1949 to join his brother Bob as owner/operator at Bailey’s Gulf service station at 7 1/2 and Juliana streets. Pete was there until 1957, when he went to work at Carborundum in Wood County and then Shell Chemical.

Pete’s son Jon recently celebrated his 40th anniversary of working at Shell Chemical (Kraton) in Belpre. Jon noted that his father just renewed his driver’s license for another five years.

Sarah Bailey and her mother, Jane Calendine, prepared a delicious smorgasbord of food for Pete’s birthday party. An album of family photographs was available for party attendees to look at.

Pete looks forward to family members visiting his house for ice cream twice a week.

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The death of Neva Rees of Marietta hit Anne Montague hard.

Rees, who died Feb. 3 at the age of 97, was one of the stars in the worldwide movement to get Rosie the Riveter, the unsung heroes of World War II, recognized.

As writer Michael Kelly chronicled so well in Friday’s News and Sentinel, Rees worked at the Goodyear Aircraft plant in Akron during the war, helping to assemble motors on the reconnaissance airships. In recent years, Rees has spoken to local schools and groups about the important role these women played during World War II.

Montague of Charleston, executive director and founder of Thanks! Plain and Simple Inc. and the American Rosie Movement, has worked tirelessly to honor the women factory workers of World War II.

“Neva was a very special person,” Montague said. “We connected from the start. Our mutual respect was very important to the work to make Rosies and their meaning known, not just to Americans, but to those who reflect on and respect the role of women in society.”

Rees was important to the development of the West Virginia Rosie the Riveter Project into the American Rosie Movement, Montague said.

“She is a founding Rosie in my mind,” Montague said. “Her death is a great loss.”

Montague recalls traveling with Rees to a museum in Ohio to view the type of airship she worked on during the war. She sent me a photograph of Rees and other Rosies talking to Ann Curry at a “Today Show” taping in 2012.

Montague has posted information about Rees at Thanks Plain and Simple.

A few years ago Kim Mommessin took Girl Scout Troop 1063 of Vienna members to visit with Rees at her home in Marietta.

“She was a very impressive lady, an interesting person,” Mommessin said. Rees talked to the girls about the work of Rosies and answered their questions.

Rees also baked cookies for the Vienna Girl Scouts.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

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