Lila June Bailey, 87, resident of Belleville, Kansas, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at Republic County Hospital, Belleville, Kansas. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 17, 2020, at Belleville Wesleyan Church, with Pastor Seth McGregor officiating, and at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at First Wesleyan Church, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, with Pastor Joe W. Colaw officiating. Interment will be in the White Rose Cemetery, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, directed by Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, Belleville, Kansas. The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. on Monday, February 17, at Belleville Wesleyan Church, and from 12-1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, at First Wesleyan Church, Bartlesville. A memorial has been established with the Wesleyan Bible Bowl, and memorials may be sent in care of Tibbetts- Fischer Funeral Home, PO Box 566 Belleville, Kansas 66935, for those who wish to donate in her memory.
Lila was born in Otego, Kansas, to Harry and Della (Stevens) Opliger, on June 19, 1932. Her father was a Methodist minister. From Otego, the family moved to Glade, Kansas, where Lila began her education. The family lived and ministered in many Kansas towns including: Hunter, Kensington, Covert, Munden, and Agra. Lila finished her high school education at Miltonvale, Kansas, and then earned her associate’s degree in education at Miltonvale Wesleyan College, where she met Merlyn Bailey. They were married on August 22, 1952, at Richland Wesleyan Church in Mina, South Dakota. They then farmed for many years with Merlyn’s father. Lila taught school in Cresbard, South Dakota, and also played the piano and taught Sunday School at Richland Wesleyan Church.
In 1983, Merlyn and Lila moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, to work for the Dakota District of the Wesleyan Church, and eventually became camp caretakers for Cedar Canyon Wesleyan Camp. Lila especially loved the Black Hills. While living there, Lila became the coach for the Bible Bowl Team at First Wesleyan Church in Rapid City, South Dakota, winning many national championships. Lila loved teaching teenagers about the Bible and how much Jesus loves them.
On March 30, 1995, Merlyn and Lila moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to help their son, Robert, in his landscaping business. After Merlyn passed away, Lila moved to Belleville, Kansas, to be closer to her daughter, Pam. Lila loved being involved in the church wherever she lived. Her two greatest joys were loving her family and serving Jesus.
Lila is survived by: daughters Karla (Bailey) Bramlett and husband Larry, of Independence, Missouri; Pam (Bailey) McGregor and husband Mark, of Belleville, Kansas; sons Robert Bailey and wife Naomi, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and Bradley Bailey and husband Kevin Carroll, of Rapid City, South Dakota; grandchildren, Jonathan Douglass and wife Jenny, of York, South Carolina; Christopher Douglass of Creighton, Missouri; Seth McGregor and wife Tailar, of Courtland, Kansas; Emily (McGregor) Farris and husband Jordan, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Delaney (McGregor) Hamel and husband Colby, of Courtland, Kansas; Gabriel McGregor of Tribune, Kansas; and Jentry McGregor of Belleville, Kansas; Alicia (Bailey) Brummett and husband Wil, of Collinsville, Oklahoma; Christian Bailey and Charles Bailey of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; six great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren; special friend Vance VanPelt of Osborne, Kansas; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Merlyn Bailey; parents Harry and Della (Stephens) Opliger; brother Mark Opliger of Wichita, Kansas; and brother Leland Opliger of Fairview, Kansas.
Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home of Belleville, Kansas, assisted the Bailey family with these arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.tibbettsfischerfuneralhome.com