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Bonnie Vincent Bailey
© Cheyenne Star
Submitted by: Wanda Purcell

Bonnie Vincent Bailey was born September 3, 1898, in Weatherford, Texas, to James Edwin and Wilda Scott Vincent and died June 19, 1998, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Graveside services were held at Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas where she was buried alongside her husband. Memorial services were held in Portales, New Mexico, on the 100th anniversary of her birth.

She moved with her family to Roger Mills County, Oklahoma in 1911 where she attended Dead Indian School and graduated from Strong City High School in 1917.

From 1917 to 1922, she taught school at Windy Hill, Hamburg, Durham and Cheyenne. She obtained an Elementary Life Teaching Certificate in Oklahoma by attending summers at Southwestern State Teachers College and OU. After teaching another three years at New Liberty in Beckham County, she moved to Miami, Texas where she met another teacher, P. M. Bailey, whom she married on July 7, 1928 in Cheyenne.

The couple then moved to Portales, New Mexico and began careers in education there that spanned 34 years.

Mrs. Bailey earned an A.B. degree in history, political science, and government from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.

In 1939, she organized an annual Citizenship Day in Portales which honored all young people in the county who reached voting age. This event was later recognized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a national celebration called "American Day."

She was chosen New Mexico Teacher of the Year by the New Mexico Federation of Women's Clubs in 1959, and was elected to the Eastern New Mexico Teachers Hall of Fame in 1966. She served as President of the Portales Educational Association, the National Education Association, Eastern New Mexico District, ENMU Faculty Dames and the Portales Women's Club.

She served as First Vice President of Chapter R-PEO Sisterhood and New Mexico Federation of Women's Clubs.

She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and was selected as the Beta Signa Phi Woman of the Year in 1984.

She served as Democratic precinct chairman for many years and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

After the death of her husband in 1974, Mrs. Bailey established the Dr. and Mrs. P. M. Bailey Memorial Scholarship Fund which continues to assist deserving students in the field of communications at Eastern New Mexico University.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Bernice Overstreet and Maggie Kendall; and four brothers, Scott, Clarence, Frank and Marvin Vincent.

Survivors include one sister, Rose Santain of Amarillo, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

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