Jane Buchanan Bailey, formerly of Kinnelon, NJ, passed away on Thursday, June 2nd 2022 at 82 years old. Born and raised in her beloved Aberdeen, Scotland, to John and Elizabeth Smith.
Jane immigrated to the United States aboard the Ocean Liner RMS Queen Elizabeth in 1958, at the young age of 19. With little to no money in her pocket, she purchased a third-class ticket aboard the ship and headed to New York City to find work and live out the American Dream! Jane’s arduous journey across the Atlantic took six days and nights. Knowing she had limited funds, she began to collect fruit aboard the ship, as this would be her nourishment until she found a job in America. Jane would recall sailing into the NYC port, seeing the Chrysler building among others, overwhelmed with emotions of bravery and fear, yet knowing at that very moment, she saw tremendous opportunity!
Jane’s first hurdle came quickly as she was stopped by a steward while getting off the ship, he confiscated all of the fruit she had saved and informed her she could not bring them into the U.S. Filled with emotion, she shed a few tears and explained to the steward that she had very little money and that was the only food she had until she found work. The steward took pity on her, reached into his pocket, and gave her what money he had. Jane vowed to the man that she would find a job and would return to the port and pay him back. The steward smiled in disbelief and wished her well on her journey. Within three weeks Jane had three jobs, one being a secretary at Unilever. She did return to the port, found the kind steward and returned the loan. Again, the steward smiled in disbelief. Jane’s tremendous work ethic was a steadfast characteristic throughout her entire life and it eventually earned her that American Dream!
Jane met her husband of over 45 years, Rex Bailey, in Brooklyn, NY on St. Patrick's Day when he offered to buy her a celebratory green beer. Together they had four daughters and moved to Smoke Rise, in the suburbs of New Jersey. While home raising her young family, Jane began to educate herself on a “new” style of teaching called Montessori. As a voracious reader, Jane educates herself and eventually earns her International Montessori Teaching certification.
As the constant trailblazer that she was, Jane opened her own school in 1972, called Apple Montessori School. She educated children, as well as parents, on the benefits of an early childhood education. She became not only a working mother of four children, but a passionate business owner at a time when most young children were not benefiting from pre-school and women made up only a small percentage of the workforce. Jane simultaneously shattered a glass ceiling while raising the standard of education. Today, the coveted Apple Montessori Schools celebrate over 50 years of educating tens of thousands of children, with over 18 locations and growing. Jane was not only a passionate teacher who had tremendous love and respect for the child, she was also a mentor to endless women dedicating their lives to the craft of education. I would often hear her advising women with words like, “just START and keep pushing forward, the rest will come” or “work solves most problems, if you don’t work, you’ll have to add financial issues to your problems.” Her words of straight-forward wisdom were endless, Jane certainly earned her American Dream and then some!
Jane’s greatest pride and joy were her four daughters, thirteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Growing up, she spent endless hours loving, communicating, and teaching her children and grandchildren. She led by example, with high standards for strong character and values.
Jane was pre-deceased by her parents, John and Elizabeth Smith, sister Geraldine Haldane Turriff, former husband of 45 years Rex Calvin Bailey and son-in-law Seth A. Morris. She leaves behind her four daughters: Pamela Howarth and her husband Robert Howarth of Kinnelon NJ, Lynn Morris-Piccolo and her husband Mark Piccolo of Kinnelon NJ, Joanne Mooney and her husband Patrick Mooney of Avon-by-the-Sea NJ, and Vanessa Krippner and her husband Ronald Krippner of Kinnelon NJ; along with her 13 beloved grandchildren: Madilynn and her husband Kalvin, Alexandra, Kyle, Chelsey, Hayley, Mackenzie, Andrew, Evelyn, Jack, Calvin, Emily, Jeffrey, Caroline, and her great-grandchild: Greydon.
I leave you with the words Jane ended every phone call with: “Bye, Bye Darling, Bye Bye, I love you!”
Until we meet again Mom and Grandma, we have no doubt Heaven is getting a good “shake-up” just about now.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 9th 2022 at:
M. John Scanlan Funeral Home
781 Newark Pompton Turnpike
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
Visiting hours 4:00-7:00 PM
In remembrance of Jane’s life and in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jane’s name to one of the following charities: St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Montessori Foundation.