Son says Center couple who died in helicopter crash embodied American Dream

Son says Center couple who died in helicopter crash embodied American Dream
Pamela and Terry Bailey (Source: Facebook)
Pamela and Terry Bailey (Source: Facebook)
Source: DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office
Source: DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office
Source: DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office
Source: DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The family and friends of Terry and Pamela Bailey received guests at the couple's visitation in Center Friday.

The Baileys were killed Wednesday when the helicopter Terry Bailey was piloting went down over a Louisiana lake.

On Friday, the Baileys' son spoke with East Texas News about the legacy his parents leave behind and the responsibility he and his sister now face together.

Dustin Bailey read the overwhelming number of tributes from those who knew the difference his parents made in the lives of others.

"This world needs more Terry Baileys to believe in and invest in people like me, their communities and their families," Dustin Bailey said. "It needs people to embody the American dream of being self-made thru hard work and God's blessings."

Terry Bailey was self-made despite a childhood struggle.

"He suffered growing up with a disability that he didn't figure out until much later in life that he had dyslexia," Dustin Bailey said. "And a lot of things people might not know about my dad is, you know, he never really even graduated from high school."

Bailey learned to rely on business sense. A life was built in timber and logging. Then the turn was made into the oil field business.

"Currently, we probably got 20 different companies going that he's been successful in," Dustin Bailey said. "He was an entrepreneur at heart. He loved the deal. More than anything he loved to make a deal."

The Baileys' American Dream placed them in circles that stretched from the Texas capitol to states beyond. But they always came home to Center and family.

Outside of town, the couple had lived just two weeks in their large home that took 2 1/2 years to construct. It was built with the extended family in mind.

"They had to because they put too many bedrooms in it not to think that we all wouldn't be over there," Dustin Bailey.

But the Baileys invested in the community too. Start-up businesses were turned over to budding business people and church schools were built.

Among the most recent contributions to the Center community by the Baileys was the purchase of this property on Highway 96 for the Center First United Pentecostal Church.

"I do believe they enjoyed working and making money so they can give, share and help other people," Dustin Bailey said.

Now Dustin Bailey, with the help of a sister and family members, want to carry on his parents' legacy.

"I was talking with my wife about that this morning and about the heavy burden that it kinda puts on you to some extent knowing how many people depended on my father for a paycheck week to week and that I want to somehow make sure that I can continue to do that and continue to help the church and all the things that he always did in life," Dustin Bailey said. I want to be able to continue those things."

The young man says he'll follow his father's advice. Strike a deal, but make it fair to both sides.

Services for 54-year-old Terry Bailey and his wife, 57-year-old Pamela, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at First United Pentecostal Church in Center.

Their son wanted to publicly thank all the emergency workers who assisted at the crash site at Wallace Lake in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. Dustin Bailey said he's confident investigators will determine why the new chopper that his father was piloting went down.

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