SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. - Flags on Sanibel Island have been lowered in honor of former Mayor and notable community member Francis P. Bailey.
He passed away Saturday after living on the island his whole life and making many contributions that can still be seen today.
Wink News spoke with family members and friends who remember the 92-year old and his love of the island.
"Francis lived a wonderful life. It's such sadness and at the same time so happy that he made his journey and he made his journey surrounded by his family and that is the biggest gift any of us can hope for," said Bailey's General Store Manager, Rachel Lammers.
The Bailey family settled on Sanibel in 1895, their original homestead off Periwinkle Way is now a part of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Commission.
"This is where the three Bailey brothers were born. This is where Francis Bailey grew up. This is where Francis Bailey loved his community and helped actually build this community," said Son-in-Law, Richard Johnson.
Francis P. Bailey was born April 25th 1921. He served the city as Mayor in 1979.
"Francis and his brothers Sam and John did so much for the island as a whole. When I first moved here I got a job at Bailey's and then I understood that the Baileys really touched a lot of things and they touched the people," said Lammers.
Bailey's father opened the family's general store in 1899.
"He wanted to keep his community like it was, allow it to change with the times, but maintain the beauty of the island he loved so much," said Johnson.
Bailey was elected to Sanibel's first City Council. He served from 1974 to 1996 and then again in 1999, making him the longest serving Councilmember and elected official in Sanibel history.
"Look around this community and whenever you're able to do that you see a part of Francis P. Bailey Jr. day in and day out," he said.
The Bailey family is planning a community celebration of the life of Francis Bailey on Sunday, June 16th.