"On February 8, 2018, Seymour Baileys took his last breath surrounded by family and friends. Anyone who knew Sey, knew he was one of a kind. Born in Chicago during the Great Depression, to Jewish immigrants, Esther and Moshe (Morris) Bailihus, Sey learned early on in life that to survive meant to work hard and to hustle. The art of salesmanship and counting coin came naturally to him and were fundamental in his upbringing as he spent many hours as a young boy helping out in his family's market. Sey recounted many stories of life with his parents, brother Alvin and cousin Ann, who all lived in a one-room home behind their store. Sey and his family moved to Los Angeles, where he finished school as an Accountant and got his Real Estate license. Los Angeles was also where Sey met his true heart & soul, Sondra "Sunny" Katzen. Together they raised four children, Steven (Fatma), David, Susan Boyd (George) and Brenda Moroz-Pettyjohn (Dwayne). In 1972, they sold their real estate company, packed up their 4 kids, 2 cats and dog to venture to Canada for a better life. They settled in rural Metchosin. They bought land, built a home and opened several natural food businesses. In 1997, Sunny passed away from cancer. This was devastating for the family, and especially for Sey, who thought Sunny could be saved through a doctor's care in New York, non-conventional medicine and his sheer will.
Sey managed to fill his loss with stimulating activities that kept his mind and body active - reading and writing, eating organically and following his vitamin program, exercising and working his body, attending lectures and social functions, practicing meditation and mindfulness, following the stock market and the value of precious metals, and enjoying a large community around him.
Although Sey was deeply rooted in his Jewish heritage, and felt connected to his fellow "lantzman" and mother tongue - Yiddish, his philosophical, analytical, spiritual and emotional explorations led him to Freud, Fromm, and the teaching of Buddha.
Sey was fun-loving, witty, corny, charismatic, charming, and generous as well as demanding, determined and stubborn - oy vey! He made friends easily and 'adopted' many people into his life. He had many "cookies", but loved none more than his beautiful grand-daughters - Darah (Jeff), Jenna, Kailey, Dayne and Angela. They were his absolute pride and joy and he "kvelled" over them every chance he got.
His children remember their father in the fond memories they keep - the telling of hilarious bedtime stories, surprising the family with "Brownie" dog, "If I were a Rich Man" sung in true Tevye style, dancing with their mom in the living room, his tickles, playing his custom-made flamenco guitar, Scrabble games, late-night talks, Sunday night crib games, Sey-high nights, and for always doing the best he could and apologizing when he knew he could do better.
Thank you to Ed and Linda Blumenthal for their dedicated friendship, Brent Moroz for being a true "buddy", Noel Taylor for her companionship, and RJH staff for their compassionate care. Sey will be greatly missed by his American & Canadian friends and family. A Celebration of Life will be in May 2018.