Ricky Don Bailey, 63, died Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, at his Clinton, Louisiana, home surrounded by family. His death came after a long struggle with dementia.
When Bailey was 31 years old, he attempted to save 8-year-old Brice L. Willis from drowning in Thompson Creek after the boy stepped into a hole and submerged in deep water on Aug. 6, 1989, in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Bailey, a welder, and another man immediately ran to the scene. Although Bailey’s swimming ability was hindered from a shoulder injury he suffered years earlier, he entered the water and swam toward Brice. Bailey struggled to stay afloat and called for help. The other man towed Bailey back to the bank. Brice was saved by another rescuer. Bailey was treated at the hospital for nearly drowning, but he recovered.
Born in 1958, Bailey was retired from Wilcrest Field Services, an oil and gas and pipeline inspection firm.
He is survived by his father David Bailey and mother Frances Prather; wife of 33 years, Teresa Saucier Bailey; children Melissa Porter and Morgan Bailey; three siblings; and three grandchildren.