March 27, 2015

Helen McShane Bailey

Helen McShane Bailey, 96, of Travelers Rest, S.C., passed away on the evening of July 6, 2013.

Helen was born on her father’s family farm in Gardner, Kan. on Oct. 17, 1916. She grew up and attended schools in Colorado Springs, Colo. In 1938, she graduated from Bethany Nazarene College in Bethany, Okla. She was a long time resident of Fairfax, Va.

In 1941, Helen became a “government girl” and moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for General George C. Marshall in the United States Army Office of the Chief of Staff. From 1941-1945, she was the Head of the Records Section in the War Department. From 1945 to 1948, she was an historian for the U.S. Army, writing and editing the U.S. Army’s official history series of World War II. From 1958 to 1959, she was a research assistant for the George C. Marshall Research Foundation. From 1968 until she retired in 1987, she was a historian for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Department of Defense at the Pentagon.

Helen was an active member in the American Historical Association, the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, the World War II Studies Association and the Society for History in the Federal Government. She was also a member of the Republican Party and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents Harry Cramer McShane and Maude Ethel Kramer McShane of Dallas, Texas; her sister Aleta Hicks Carson of Dallas, Texas; and her husband James Edwin Bailey of Fairfax, Va.

She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Bailey Crawford and son-in law William Lance Crawford of Travelers Rest, S.C.; her son, James Edwin Bailey, Jr. and daughter-in-law Rita Bauer Bailey of Warrenton, VA. She is also survived by her granddaughters Melissa Ann Crawford and Mary Kathryn Crawford of Travelers Rest, South Carolina.

A private family internment ceremony will be in held in Gardner. Rather than flowers or other expressions of sympathy, the family requests you make a donation in the name of Helen McShane Bailey to your local food bank.
Arrangements by: The Mackey Mortuary, Greenville, SC. Online registry available at

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