Community stalwart Ragland Bailey dies at 106

July 08, 2017
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer Ragland Bailey (centre) with family members who turned out to celebrate his 104th birthday at his home in Morant in Franfield, in 2015.
Ragland Bailey, at 104, on his farm in Clarendon.

Ragland Bailey, hailed as a stalwart in Morant, Clarendon, lived to see the grand old age of 106 years before passing peacefully at home, surrounded by friends and family on June 23.

Bailey died leaving six children, 39 grandchildren, 86 great-grandchildren, 50 great-great-grandchildren, and an entire community who loved and respected the hard-working, jovial, centenarian.

"He died of old age, him never sick or anything, no pressure, no sugar [diabetes], just arthritis," a proud great-granddaughter, Shanette Powell, told THE STAR.

She said that Bailey worked right up to the time of his passing, despite protest from family members who said he should rest.

"Hard-working is how I would describe him," Powell said, as she shared that both TVJ's Hill and Gully Ride and The Gleaner have journeyed into the hills of Clarendon to witness the centenarian plough his farm.


"At 104, he was still using his fork. He stopped working on his farm from last year because everyone was saying he's getting old, so he needs to stop going to the farm, which is about a half mile away, but he used to still work at home, planting his corn, yam, banana, and other things, and taking care of his donkey and goat," she said.

In addition to his devotion to his work, Powell shared that her great-grandfather always made those around him happy.

"Sometimes you hear him talk some little phrase, you have to wonder where him get them from. It's always happy moments around him," she said.

Bailey will be laid to rest on July 29 at the Morant Full Truth Church of God Deliverance Centre in a grand farewell ceremony.

"Everybody misses him. The church is a few chains from the burying ground and everybody wants to carry him from the church, both family and friends, because he was loving, kind, and he splits justice. The funeral programme is so long, because everybody wants to take part," Powell said.