Joe Bails

July 27, 1936 – October 8, 2017

Joe Ernest Bails, 81, of Hot Springs, passed away October 8, 2017, at the Fall River Hospital in Hot Springs.

Joe was born July 27, 1936, to Gwin and Vessie (Deverick) Bails, in Kansas City, Mo., were he grew up. He learned early that walking away from a fight was going to cause a kid more problems in the future. Joe preferred peace, but if a fight is what it took, he was up to it. His career was determined by the depression and WW II. While in high school he began attending tech school to learn drafting. Joe then went on to apprentice with major companies in KC. He became a mechanical/structural designer working on varied projects, primarily space exploration and mining throughout the US.

Joe found peace in landscaping and viewed each blade of grass of his living portrait was important. He loved reading, particularly science fiction and then watching his books come to fruition as time passed in the real world. Joe loved to sing with his deep base voice and he could dance the night away. He could walk on his hands at 50+years old.

When Joe first visited Hot Springs, he proclaimed he was going to live there. Six months later he was indeed there, and before retirement. He loved living in “a park.” While in Hot Springs he served as a City Council Member followed by serving on the Historic Commission. He was passionate about saving the Carnegie Library Building and he succeeded in leading the way. He served many spaghetti suppers at the Community Supper for over a decade and loved chatting with all the folks. Joe considered them all his very best friends. He and his wife created the Hot Springs Memorial Garden and he worked at it until failing health prevented further activity.

Joe is the father of Richard Bails, Kansas City, Mo.; John Bails, Des Moines, Iowa; Jim Bails, Twin Falls, Idaho; Denise Fullmer, Boise, Idaho; Michael Bails, London, England; stepdaughter, Sylvia Marty Stremler, Tampa, Fla. He is the Grandfather of 14 extraordinary people.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Anna Kennedy Bails; brother, Jack Bails of Lansing, Mich., the future of all his descendants.

He was proceeded in death by his parents; sister, Gwendolyn Bails; brother, Jerry Bails; stepsons, David and Steven Marty.

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Memorials in Joe’s name may be sent to The Memorial Garden, 510 University Ave., Hot Springs, SD 57747.

A life celebration of Joe’s life will be held at a future date.

Arrangements have been placed in the care of Chamberlain-McColley’s Funeral Home in Hot Springs.

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