Joseph Hugh “Hook” Bailey born October 8, 1936, in Norristown, PA passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on January 23rd. Diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer in 2013, Hook lived fully with grace and good humor while battling this disease and the effects of its treatment, aided by an amazing medical team and supported by his family.
Hook graduated from Millersville State University, in Pennsylvania in 1958. He began his career as a teacher in Paoli PA where he met Jean, his beloved wife of 58 years. In 1963, Hook began his career in employee benefits at Liberty Mutual and continued to build his expertise working for Allstate and CNA. His career brought his family to Washington, D.C. then Northern NJ. After a long and distinguished career at US Life, he retired in 1999 as Executive Vice President of Group Marketing.
Hook spent his retirement years giving endlessly and expertly to communities he loved. Lake Paupac Club was the happy place where Hook and his family spent summers and winters for 55 years. Hook cherished the time spent at the lake, served in many roles, and was dedicated to preserving the special qualities of Paupac. While in NJ, Hook volunteered many hours in various roles to Christ Church in Short Hills, beginning as a Sunday School teacher in the 70’s through Senior Warden. Hook was a committed volunteer for the cardiovascular program at Morristown Memorial Hospital for 20 years, visiting patients following heart surgery. Hook enjoyed playing paddle and tennis at The Short Hills Club and many rounds of golf at Morris County Golf Club. Nothing gave Hook more pleasure than watching countless hours of his kids’ and grandkids’ activities: field hockey, soccer, ballet, theatre, baseball, tennis, lacrosse, ice hockey, swim team, and horse shows. Hook and Jean traveled extensively in their retirement. The highlight of their travels was unquestionably their trips to Peru and the Alps with their grandchildren.
Hook is survived by his wife Jean Nigh Bailey, three children, Sue Thomson (George), Karen Blount (Stephen “Mel”), Stephen Bailey (Melissa), and beloved grandchildren, Steve, Ali, and Lauren Thomson; Melissa, Samantha, Caroline, and Kathryn Blount; Grace, Sam, Leah, and Anna Bailey. Hook is predeceased by parents Harry and Mary Bailey and brother Ken; he is survived by sister Hope Dyson.
We look forward to a celebration of Hook’s life at Christ Church in Short Hills on July 24th when we hope that family and friends can safely gather.
Memorial contributions in his honor can be made to the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute Expansion ( www.f4mmc.org or 475 South St., Morristown, NJ 07960), Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK P.O. Box 5028 Hagerstown, MD 21741-5028) or Christ Church in Short Hills ( CCSH or 66 Highland Ave., Short Hills, NJ 07078).