Cover photo for William R. Bailey's Obituary
William R. Bailey Profile Photo
1941 William 2021

William R. Bailey

April 22, 1941 — November 7, 2021

William Reginald Bailey ("Bill") was born in Iowa City. IA on April 22, 1941 and died in Davenport, IA on November 7, 2021 due to complications from Covid-19. He leaves behind three children: Stephen Bailey, Heather Bailey Fuechsel, and Kayla Westerfield.

Bill was born in Iowa City to Sidney Grant Bailey, MD and Fay Buckston Bailey. He grew up in South Dakota—in the Black Hills town of Hot Springs—where he was active in the local 4-H club and raised Hereford calves each year. In 1954, the family moved to Rock Island, IL where Bill attended Rock Island ("Rocky") High School. There, he stood out, especially during his senior year, 1958-59; he was star quarterback for the Rock Island Rocks football team, was elected senior-class president, and won a National Student of The Year award.

He later attended the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. He joined Phi Gamma Delta house, where he served as president of the fraternity. There, he earned his bachelors in 1963, and later earned his graduate law degree in 1966.

Bill married Patricia Potter in 1965 and fathered two children: Stephen Grant Bailey (1966) and Heather Aileen Bailey (1968). He practiced law in Rock Island until 1978, when his marriage to Patricia sadly ended. After exploring a variety of options, Bill returned to a lifelong dream of service to God and attended seminary at Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA in 1992. He was later ordained into the World Christianship Ministries as a Doctor of Divinity in 2005.

During the years leading up to seminary, Bill met Geroldine Westerfield. In 1989, Joshua Reginald Bailey became their firstborn son. Tragically he died at birth. Two years later in 1992, their daughter Kayla Amilita Westerfield was born in Rock Island, IL.

Retiring in the late 2000s to care for Kayla, and foster other children in need of a home, Bill spent the remainder of his life first in Rock Island and finally in Davenport, IA. He was a devoted father, grandfather and guardian who gave everything to the children in his care. His loss is felt deeply by many in the community.

A memorial ceremony for Bill will be held on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at Rock Church Outreach Center, 306 Cedar St., Davenport, IA 52802.

Bill’s family invites friends to share stories and condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William R. Bailey, please visit our flower store.


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