Malcolm S. Bailey


Malcolm S. Bailey


Malcom Bailey
Malcom Bailey

Malcolm S. Bailey, 65 of Billings, passed away unexpectedly at his family cabin on the Stillwater, in Nye, Mont., on September 18, 2012. He was born on August 26, 1947 to Joan (Collins) Smith and James Atkinson Smith, both members of the Assiniboine Tribe. His parents passed away when he was young, and Malcolm was adopted by Earl and Blanche Bailey.

Malcolm attended Billings West High School, graduating in 1966. He was an accomplished runner in track and cross country. He was very proud that he completed the Boston Marathon, finishing in the top 100 runners. He went on to attend Eastern Montana College. During his college years, he was a member of the Ski Patrol at Red Lodge Mountain.

He was a teacher in Billings Public Schools where he shared his passion for art with his students. Malcolm was very beloved by his students. He was an activist for teachers’ rights, working closely with the Billings Education Association, MEA, and NEA. He was an accomplished artist and jewelry maker, a gun enthusiast and a member of the NRA. He loved to delight friends and family with his cooking and colorful stories. He was a fiercely loyal friend, brother, uncle, and loving father.

Malcolm is survived by his daughter MacKenzie Bailey of Missoula; siblings, Jim (Corkie) Birdsall, Harold N. Bailey, LouAnn (Randy) Baril, Steve (Cheryl) Stewart; numerous aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his birth parents and adopted parents.

Cremation has taken place.   A Celebration of Malcolm’s Life will be held at 4:00 P.M., Saturday, September 7th, at Riverfront Park, Pavilion #1.



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  1. Malcolm was one of my classmates in High School. He was a good student and very competitive. He will be missed by his friends and family. He died too young.

  2. Faith ( Armfield) Jewett

    To the family of Mr. Bailey. Mr Bailey was my teacher at Riverside Middle School in the late 1970’s. He was the best art teacher I had through out my school years and was a wonderful man. He had helped me pursue my art through out the rest of my school years. I always went back to see him and talk with him. He made many great impacts on his students and he will be greatly missed. My blessing and prayers are with you and your family during this time. God Bless.
    Faith C. (Armfield) Jewett

  3. Misti Moody Stewart

    The world has lost a great man. I was a student of Mr. Bailey’s 3 different times; I signed up for any of his classes that I could. I not only learned about art and photography, but took away many life lessons as well. Here’s to many chocolate chip cookies and hamburgers with extra onions in the afterlife! He touched so many lives and will truly be missed. My thoughts are with your family during this difficult time-.

  4. K Dean and La Verne Frank

    Dean was one of the H and A decorators with Malcolm. They all worked hard and made more money in the summer months than the teaching months. We called it ‘catch up time’.
    Recently Dean had a stroke and Malcolm was one of the “loyal friends’ who supported him in his recovery.
    The ‘decorators’ had a reunion at Deans’ retirement celebration in June. We have a great picture to share with family. Our home number is 656-9294.
    Years ago, Dean bought one of Malcolms’ silver rings and I slipped it on my finger above my wedding ring and have worn it ever since. I often told him that I was still wearing his ring.
    Malcolm was so proud of you MacKenzie which was obvious when he told us about you and what you are doing with your life.
    We weep with you as we have lost a very good friend.
    Dean and La Verne Frank

  5. Malcolm was good in so many ways. First, he spoke truth to power and made lesser souls furious when he did. Second, he was a person of passion and authentic artistic vision. Third, he had a sense of humor about himself as well as about others and the follies that we human beings often take too seriously. He was a friend. And a loyal one. He’ll be missed.

  6. Malcolm was a good man. He spoke truth to power and made lesser souls furious when he did. He had passion and authentic artistic vision–and a sense of humor about himself as well as about others and our follies as human beings. I hadn’t seen Malcolm in quite a few years but had kept up with him through a friend. I shall miss hearing about him. He was unique.

  7. Karen (Batt) Hawkins

    I grew up with the Bailey kids on Ave. E. I’m so sorry about Malcom’s death. I offer my condolences to his family.

  8. I was in a graphic arts class with Misty above. Mr. Bailey was far and above what others could only dream of being. At a time when I was walking the fence between good choices and bad he took the time to notice a kid who was struggling and in made contact with counselors and deans who helped me out a dark place. It was he who inspired me to become an educator. It was he who showed me you could teach with humor. It was HE who cared…not only for me but for countless other students. Malcolm you will be missed and THANK YOU so much for teaching and touching us all. To the family, I send my prayers and my deepest sympathy.

  9. How fortunate I feel to be one of those friends to whom Malcolm was fiercely loyal. So many great memories are in my mind and my heart. I can still see him walking to the microphone at Delegate Assembly and sense an almost audible groan from the podium! He lived his values and that makes him unique. I will miss his visits, his jokes, his gifts, his cooking, his stories…….his friendship.

  10. Malcolm is gone too soon. I hadn’t seen him for many years, but had talked to him on the phone a couple times in the last year when he befriended a mutual acquaintence who needed a place to stay. He had a huge heart.

    I remember knowing Malcolm best nearly 30 years ago when I was married to my first husband Bob and a bunch of us would go camping together. The joke was that Malcolm always came with everything but the kitchen sink…..and then found out one trip it wasn’t a joke, cause he even had “a kitchen sink” in the back of his pickup!!! We laughed!! He was always a joy to be around and had a wide range of skills. One camping trip, one of the guys got hurt climbing with a big gash in his arm. Malcolm just happened to have a needle and some suture thread along…and he cleansed the wound with some whiskey and stiched Morris’ arm up right there at the campsite! … I’ll always remember his infectious smile and laugh. I never had the pleasure of meeting his daughter….but my thoughts are with her andf other loved ones at this sad time. RIP Malcolm.

  11. Ernie Pawliw and Ann Soulsby

    In the few years we’ve known Malcolm, he proved to be a generous, kind, funny and loyal friend. His life story is inspiring and his achievements many. We’ll miss Malcolm’s wit and wisdom, as well as his culinary and artistic gifts. Our condolences to MacKenzie, whom we met briefly and to other family members.

  12. To Harold and extended families,

    I just learned about Malcolm’s untimely death at the Stillwater cabin. (My husband Phil and I visited Blanche and Earl there a couple of times when I taught with Blanche.) Blanche and Earl were extremely proud of the many successes, talents and accomplishments of their beloved children and grandchildren. In later years whenever I visited Blanche at St. John’s, she always praised Harold and Malcolm for their attentiveness during her residence there. What a sad loss of a fine person, dedicated educator and a life well-lived.

    May the Lord comfort you and provide solace as you grieve Malcolm’s demise,
    Vicki and Phil Christman

  13. I’m very sorry to hear about Mr. Bailey. You all are in my thoughts right now. Please find some comfort in knowing that God promises to bring a time when all pain and suffering will be eliminated. Even death will be no more. We will even have a chance to see our dead loved ones again. – Revelation 21:4, John 5:28,29

  14. Dan & Colleen Grover

    We were so sorry to learn of Malcolm’s passing. So untimely! We shared many good times together through the years. Such a thoughtful, kind-hearted, talented person will be missed by all who knew him. We have nothing but great memories of our time spent with Malcolm. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    The Dan & Colleen Grover

  15. I substituted for Malcom when he taught art at Senior High. I always used to tease him that he liked me to sub because I used to clean up his room. Art rooms can be a bit messy. I really enjoyed him and was surprised to see he had passed so soon. Our prayers are with the family.

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