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Roger Baily, 1943 - 2003
 Councelor and community activist

By JEANNE MAY
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Roger A. Bailey, who helped start the Dally in the Alley street fair and led hundreds of substance abusers to conquer their demons, died of a heart attack Monday at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
He was 60 and lived in Royal Oak.
His wide-ranging life story - which included preaching, protest marches and digging at an archaeological site - began in Detroit, where he was born during World War II. His father was in the army, so his mother took him to her parent's home in Bonanza, Ark for his first few years.
At war's end, his returned to Michigan, grew up in what is now East Pointe and graduated from East Detroit High School. Then he was off to the Cumberland Presbyterian Theological Seminary in McKenzie, Tenn.
Before he was 20, he was preaching in the summertime, sometimes being paid for his services with a chicken dinner.
But the life of a preacher was not for him, in the late 1960's, he returned to Detroit and served with the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), working for poor people in the Cass Corridor. He also protested the Vietnam War. "He stepped in front of a nun on purpose and took a punch meant for her during a march on the Ambassador Bridge," his wife, Carolyn Allen said.
He and his wife helped found the Dalley in the Alley, a North Cass Avenue fair that raises money for community projects and is now in its 26th year.
At the same time, he bought Bonnie's University Pizzeria on Cass and ran it for a number of years.
He also helped start the Detroit Classic and Country Blues Society, where mentored comic-book artist Don Simpson and bluesman Robert Jones.
Then he went back to school, studying two years at Wayne County Community College and two at Wayne State University, majoring in anthropology.
He quit two classes short of a degree when his Spanish class defeated him.
Undaunted, he spent the summer of 1985 working at St. Ignace, digging at the site of Pere Marquette's mission to the Huron Indians. He was fascinated with American Indian lore. His great-grandfather Speckled Bird was an Oklahoma outlaw who had a string of horses he would sell, steal back, then sell again.
Mr. Baily returned to Detroit and went to work as a substance abuse councelor, flrst at the Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center, then at the Eastwood Clinic, where he worked at the time of his death.
He had been a recovering alcoholic for 32 years and spoke regularly to Alcoholics Anonymous groups across the area.
Besides his wife of 28 years, survivors include three sons, Geoffrey and David Bailey and Jason Allen; two grandchildren; his mother, Thelma Bailey, and two sisters.


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