Sylvia Ann Bailey, age 79 of Cannon Falls, passed away unexpectedly on September 12, 2021.
A memorial visitation will be held on Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 4-8 pm at Lundberg Funeral Home, 5839 Hwy 19 Blvd, Cannon Falls. Memorial service will be 11 am, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 at Awaken Community Church, 506 View Street, St. Paul. The memorial service will be available via livestream, instructions can be found below. Gifts in lieu of flowers are encouraged and can be made in Sylvia’s memory to the Awaken Community Church or the Mayo Clinic. Masks are optional at the funeral home for the visitation, but will be required while in the church facility for the memorial service. Thank you for your understanding.
Sylvia Bailey was born Sylvia Ann Jeffries on March 28, 1942 in the upstairs bedroom of a dairy farmhouse in Vinemount, Ontario Canada. As a young child she was stricken with meningitis and raced to the hospital in a snowstorm on a horse-drawn wagon. Her keepsakes today include a braided lock from the mane of the horse that saved her life.
Sylvia learned in a one room schoolhouse until about the same time that her family home upgraded to indoor plumbing. In her mid-teens, she paused her formal schooling to care for her sick grandmother. A couple years later, a young man from a nearby city came to the farm for a church youth group hayride. The young man fancied the farmer’s daughter — the one with the bright blue eyes, driving the tractor. They married September 7, 1962.
Sylvia put Ted through his last year of college, working as a nurse in the Catholic hospital in Guelph, Ontario. After graduation, they moved to Winnipeg in 1963, where they were joined by Bob. They moved to Vancouver shortly thereafter, and then to New York (New Jersey, actually) where they welcomed Allison in 1967. One last job relocation took them to their beloved Minnesota in 1968 — and along came Jim in 1969.
Sylvia and Ted raised their family in Edina, Minnesota. In Sylvia’s home, and in her life, faith in a living and loving God ranked #1 and #2, and sharing that love with others was #3! For most of their more than 20 years in Edina, the Baileys worshipped at Christ Presbyterian Church, where Sylvia led bible studies (youth and adult) and served as a deacon and as an elder. More recently — but pre-COVID — Sylvia and Ted worshipped with the young families of the Awaken Community in St. Paul.
A foretaste of things to come and an homage to her farmhouse roots, Sylvia’s home in Edina was a welcome place for friends and strangers, full of love and food, but very clean!! Her Canadian roots and accent mixed oddly and unmistakenly with Minnesota intonations, and we all got a chuckle from that. A devoted hockey fan, Sylvia somewhat famously took a puck to the lip at a North Stars/Islanders Stanley Cup finals game in 1981. After treating herself with a butterfly bandage she kept in her purse for occasions just like this, she refused further medical attention until the second period ended.
While in Edina, Sylvia ended her educational “pause”, finishing high school and attending college both at Normandale Community College and the College of St. Catherine’s.
In 1990, with the kids grown up and out of the house, Sylvia and Ted moved briefly to Bloomington (where they met more lifelong friends).
A few years later they moved to their farm in Cannon Falls. This quickly became home and Ted and Sylvia came to adore Cannon Falls, their neighbors and community. The sign at the end of the lane reads, “Bailey Farms — Farm and Retreat”. For more than 20 years, Sylvia hosted retreats, and provided Christian spiritual direction for individuals and groups of up to 30 or more. Inside their front doorway is a large bulletin board with a collage of pictures serving as a reminder of the many lives touched in Sylvia’s home.
In recent years, Sylvia and Ted escaped the cold Minnesota winters at Anna Maria, Florida, where they cherish their friends in the Anna Maria Island Club community, and welcomed many guests from the north who needed to thaw their bones and blood.
Sylvia and Ted enjoyed traveling together; including to Europe many times, New Zealand, Africa (three times, including two service trips to Zimbabwe) and many trips in Canada and the United States. Sylvia’s favorite places have included the North Shore of Lake Superior, the Muskoka Lakes of Northern Ontario, sunsets at Anna Maria Island, the farm in Cannon Falls, and anywhere she could be with family.
Ted and Sylvia learned of her Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer diagnosis in the spring of 2018. With the miracle of advanced pharmaceutical therapies and excellent care at nearby Mayo Clinic, Sylvia lived with but did not suffer under cancer for three years, beating the mean time survival odds. In the spring of 2021, the cancer advanced and her heart weakened. Still, while in and out of the hospital, as she had done for decades, Sylvia prayed daily for family and friends, that God would reveal Himself to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She often prayed for unnamed loved ones — for great grandchildren and life partners yet to come. Friends and family came to count Sylvia’s prayers as a great blessing in their lives.
Our Lord took Sylvia gently to be with Him. On Sunday, Mom passed away suddenly, but quietly in her sleep, lying next to Dad for a late afternoon nap — in their farmhouse in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.
Sylvia Ann Bailey leaves behind a loving legacy of family and friends. She is survived by Ted, her husband and partner in life, love and faith; by her children and their spouses Bob (Laurie-Anne), Allison (Mark) and Jim (Karin); her five grandchildren and their families, Mitch (Megan), Jake, Nic, Luc and Rowan; great granddaughters Sophie and Charlotte; step grandchildren Tristan, Kaitlyn and Shelby: and by her brothers Bryan (Margaret) and Bill (Jean) and their families. She is preceded in death by her parents Douglas and Dorothy Jeffries.
We pray God’s blessing on Sylvia’s life, on those she leaves behind and on all of us as we celebrate and remember her life.
LIVESTREAM INFORMATION: For those who would like to participate in Sylvia's service via livestream, you can watch the service on Monday, September 20, 2021 at 11:00 am. It can be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of this page, and "CLICK PLAY" to begin. Please leave a message of support on our Tribute Wall to let the family know you were able to watch the service. If you are having troubles with the Livestream, the service will be available to watch later in the day.