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Charleston, WV

Sadness prevails as Bailey passes


CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Sadness prevailed in government as well as much of the City of Charleston as word spread of the accidental death of a city councilman yesterday.

Kanawha Sheriff’s deputies said John Kennedy Bailey, the son of former state Treasurer Larrie Bailey, died from injuries suffered from a tree that fell on his car on Greenbrier Street near the Kanawha County animal shelter just outside city limits. A child was also in the car but was not injured, deputies said.

Shock at the circumstances and abrupt nature of Bailey’s passing were voiced throughout the community.

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin released this statement:

“It is with profound sadness we mourn the loss of Charleston City Councilman John Kennedy Bailey—a devoted husband, doting father, loving son, loyal brother, and a dear friend to many including my husband (former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin) and me. I spent many a night talking with John in the City Hall parking garage long after council meetings had ended. We’d talk about how we could fix things—make things better.

He was funny and fun. He was relaxed but motivated. He was someone you wanted on your team, and we loved him so very much.”

Mayor Goodwin added, “John loved the law, he loved politics and policy. He was one of the very unique people that would love to engage in robust policy discussions.”

The Kanawha County Commission offered the following statement on Bailey’s passing: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Councilman Bailey. Councilman Bailey was a leader in the community, a father and a husband. We mourn his loss and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the City of Charleston. To show our support to the City of Charleston and to honor Councilman Bailey, the Kanawha County Commission will lower its State flags to half-staff on the County Courthouse Complex today”

Mayor Goodwin offered thoughts and prayers to John’s wife Holly, sons Jack and Brooks, daughter Lisette, brother David, sister Anne, father former State Treasurer Larrie Bailey, and mother, Joyce. Flags in the city were also lowered to half-staff.

Bailey served as a councilman-at-large. Goodwin said that John was a united and not a divider. Following in the footsteps of his father, John Bailey was a successful politician and attorney. His father’s family hailed from northern West Virginia.

“His way on the floor should be a reminder, not just to city council members, but folks at the statehouse representing others, that you should live like the way John lived. In a time when we are so divided, John had this uncanny ability to bring everybody together,” Goodwin said.

“If there is one thing we can all share and all do to honor his legacy, it’s to admire and emulate his compassion for one another.”

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