January 2, 1944 – December 4, 2017
PAUL — Franklin Leon Bailey, a 73-year-old resident of Paul, died Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, at home after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was born in Oakley, Idaho, on Jan. 2, 1944, to Geneva Lucille Bailey and John Henry Okelberry. He was raised by his grandparents, George and Myrtle Bailey. As a child, he enjoyed riding horses and checking the sheep along the shoe string of the Snake River with his grandparents and uncles. He acquired an extraordinary work ethic from them; a work ethic that followed him throughout his life. He graduated with honors from Valley High School in 1962 and was always willing to use those academic talents to help his kids and grandkids with homework. He married Betty Jean Stone on Nov. 19, 1963, in Twin Falls, Idaho. They were later sealed on Sept. 6, 1975, in the Ogden Utah LDS Temple. They recently celebrated their 54-year anniversary with friends and family with a South Hills family picture and picnic, which he always enjoyed.
Leon worked for Kloepfer Concrete for more than 40 years, where he developed his talent of building and welding things with extra-thick concrete, and always using the heaviest gauge metal available. It was during these 80 to 90-hour work weeks that he became the shop mascot, affectionately known as Beetle Bailey. Leon had a love/hate relationship with horses. He loved to ride them but despised shoeing them, which was a talent he wished he had never learned. He rode in the Cassia County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse with friends and family for more years than he could remember. He also enjoyed following the Fair circuit, racing flat-track horses in the summer and then running chariot horses in the winter; a love he has passed on to his son-in-law and oldest daughter, Becky. Leon loved spending time with his grandkids and great-grandkids, whether it was watching their sporting events or teaching them to ride horses in the yard. In his post-retirement years, he enjoyed any meal that had steak and shrimp, reading westerns, listening to cowboy poems, and attending plays in Oakley.
He is survived by his wife, Betty, of Paul; his children, Becky (Bryan) Grant, Christie Wickel, Cindy (Manuel) Vela, Jill Bailey, Max Bailey, Eric (Jodi) Bailey and Nicole Stevenson. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Audrey (Blaine), Darric (Chelsea), Ainsle (Shawn), Madigan, Lexington, Andrew, Braedon, Rhyann, Noah, Paytan, Rhodie, Avhie, Max III, Hadley, Adilyn, Josalyn, Makray, Kambree, Haven and Ryder; and great-grandchildren, Aspen, Kaybree, Gracie, Eli, Keyerra, Karson, Maisen and Maddix; his siblings, Mark (Sheryl) Okelberry, Alan (Cheryl) Okelberry, Patsy (Douglas) Barnes, Tamera (Ralph) Ahrendsen, Joly (Steve) Madewell, Alan (Kelly) Gibbs, and Sandy Allison. He was preceded in death by his grandparents; his parents; his brother, Ricky Craner; and his parents by choice, Alton and Bessie Hansen.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Judith Csanky and Dr. Lisa Burgett for caring for him in his final days.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Emerson 2nd Ward, 127 S. 950 W., of Paul, with Bishop Chet Jeppesen officiating. Burial will be in Paul Cemetery.
Friends may call from 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Saturday, prior to the service at the church.