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Jon Scott Bailly

SWANVILLE – Jon Scott Bailly, 66, died suddenly, but peacefully, Nov. 7, 2012, at home. He was born Feb. 10, 1946, in Minneapolis, son of the late Helen (Aasen) and Charles E. Bailly.
After graduating from Lawrence University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1968, Scott volunteered in VISTA in West Virginia, where he met Debbie Johnston, also a VISTA volunteer, whom he married in 1971. A spiritually peaceful man, he was granted conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War. Shortly after Scott graduated from Yale University Physician’s Assistant Program, they moved to Maine from Connecticut, seeking a slower pace and the great outdoors. Scott was employed as a physician’s assistant at Arthur Jewell Health Center and then at Seaport Family Practice. Passionate about protecting the environment, Scott could be an icon of reduce/reuse/recycle, to the extent of hitchhiking to Belfast by day or night, sometimes in the rain, rather than “waste” fuel in his 50-mpg auto. He wouldn’t dream of driving the four miles round trip to the local grocery, but often combined a visit there with his nearly daily 5 1/2 mile walk “around the block.” With a philosophy of “less is better,” Scott had little interest in material possessions. He would sit quietly for hours observing and communing with nature, listening to bird song or investigating an interesting insect. He joyously lent his bass voice to the Unitarian Universalist Church choir, Heartsong, and Pen Bay Singers, and he reaped great enjoyment working out songs on guitar and piano. He and Debbie loved camping, snorkeling and adventuring in exotic locales. Even though he was a quiet, reflective soul, comfortable with solitude, he struck up conversations with friends and strangers, readily able to reach meaningful levels of dialogue. Curious about life, he loved learning – reading about consciousness or the life of dirt and talking with rangers when camping – and shared his knowledge enthusiastically. He was kind. He was authentic. He could show tears without shame. He was wondrously content with his life.
Scott will be greatly missed by family: his soul mate, Deborah (Johnston) Bailly; sister, Teryl Lawson and husband, John; three brothers, Richard Bailly and wife, Margie, David and wife, Jan, and Charles; brother-in-law, Jack Brunt; nine nieces and nephews.
A celebration of his life will be held this winter. Donations in his memory may be made to Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy: TNC, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203 or Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. To offer condolences to the Bailly family, please visit

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