ROCKLAND – Anita M. Bailey, 85, died peacefully Wednesday, May 9, 2012, surrounded by her loving husband of 63 years and her five children at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Rockport, after a period of declining health. Born Sept. 26, 1926, in Perth, Western Australia, she was the daughter of Harold and Dorothea Fromhold Ashman.
Educated in Australia Anita attended Perth Business College. She retained her Australian citizenship until her death. While attending a dance in Perth, Western Australia, Anita met Ray Bailey, a young sailor from America. After a brief courtship in Australia, Anita boarded the Queen Elizabeth and made the journey to America to meet Ray. It was only after he promised to marry her within three months that she was allowed off the ship. The two were married March 19, 1949, at St. Francis Xavier Church, Waterbury, Conn. Throughout the years Anita had been employed as a bookkeeper for several companies, including Perth General Hospital, Doehla Greeting Cards, Gateway Volkswagen, Waterville Water Treatment District and McCann Realty, Portland and Lewiston. Mrs. Bailey also served as finance officer for the town of Winthrop. She finished her career at Methodist Conference Home and as treasurer of Aldersgate United Methodist Church. A talented woman, Anita loved crafts, enjoyed sewing, making stained-glass works of art and baking. She was a free spirit who instilled creativity, individuality and a rebellious spirit in all of her children.
Anita is survived by her beloved husband, Raymond; her children, Gordon Bailey and his wife, Lyndall, of Croton on Hudson, N.Y., Ian Bailey and his wife, Laura Nugent, of Golden, Colo., Roberta Bailey and her husband, Rob Lemire, of Vassalboro, Deborah Bailey and her companion, Dave MacDonald, of Rockland and Kimberly Bailey-Shaw and her husband, John Shaw, of Gardiner; her brother, Gordon James Ashman and his wife, Marjorie, of Perth, Western Australia; and 10 grandchildren, Isak Ziegner and his fiancee, Laura Karlin, of Los Angeles, Hilary Ziegner of Boston, Talia and Jenny Rae Bailey, both of New York City, Benjamin Bailey of Croton on Hudson, N.Y., Stephen and Ian Grima, both of Rockland, Sam and Julia Shaw, both of Boston, and Alexander Shaw of Gardiner. Anita’s family thanks the staff and doctors at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, especially Dr. Michael Kumin and Dr. Carol Reynolds. They also thank the Bob Gagnon Cancer Care Center for allowing the family to be with Anita comfortably in her last days.
A celebration of Anita’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mechuwana United Methodist Church Camp, for the Ray and Anita Bailey Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 277, Winthrop, ME 04364 or Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 15 Wesley Lane, Rockland, ME 04841. Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. To share a memory or condolence with Mrs. Bailey’s family, please visit her online Book of Memories at