Our beautiful, loving mother and grandmother, Claire Germaine Drolet Bailey, 84, of Idaho Falls, passed away peacefully May 4, 2022 of heart failure.
Germaine was born January 5, 1938, in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, to Joseph Armand Drolet & Isabelle Guillet.
Germaine had a unique upbringing, having been placed in a Catholic orphanage as a baby, along with her older sister after their father passed away unexpectedly. She was raised there by nuns until she was nine years old, before reuniting with her mother and stepfather. During those difficult years, she learned how to pray and rely on her faith that Jesus was always with her.
As a teenager, she showed interest in fashion and hair. At the encouragement of a stepsister, she moved to the west coast after high school to attend beauty school in Glendale, California. She found this to be her passion, and because of her talents, quickly found work at various salons. She loved being a part of the fashion industry in California and found it very glamorous. She was always put together and looked classy, and people were drawn to her big personality and dimples! It was at her first salon that she started going by her middle name (they already had a Claire working there), and she was Germaine from then on. She was married briefly and then welcomed her first daughter, the late Kelley Jeanne Rich.
Through a dear friend, she was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized in 1970, at age 32. The following year she met and married her eternal companion, Gailon, who was also a recent convert, in the Los Angeles Temple on June 10, 1971. They celebrated 50 years together in 2021, just prior to Gailon's passing.
Together, they made a life for themselves in their new faith, and added four more children to their home. They settled in Ventura, California, raising their children until making the move to Houston, Texas, in 1988 after Gailon retired from the Pasadena Fire Department. It wasn't hard for Germaine to settle in and make new friends as she was always larger than life and truly loved people. She made others feel comfortable and welcomed, and she had no hesitation in sharing her love for life with friends, old and brand new. Her home was warm and inviting, and her love for Americana and the American flag was always on display. She always loved a deal, and you could often run into her at neighborhood garage sales. She would return home only to be greeted with Gailon's favorite saying, “I can't afford what you're trying to save me!” She often dreamed about opening up her own thrift shop, called “Germaine's Remains.”
Germaine continued to do hair at a few salons and from home. It wasn't uncommon for the kids to come home from school and see Germaine in the kitchen with a client giving a perm or an updo, or one of many free haircuts to the missionaries. This pattern of service, and the sharing of smiles, stories, fashion advice, and silly jokes was a constant throughout her life. She lived for her family, always had a tidy home and lovingly prepared meals, but also extended her talents and love to any and all within her circle. She was extremely affectionate, and loved giving hugs and kisses. She also loved simply being with her family, whether it was a competitive game of Scrabble or a Star Trek movie at home with the grandkids.
Germaine is survived by her children, daughter, Melanie Bailey of Houston, TX, son, Gailon (Ellen) Bailey of Newport, OR, daughter, Amy (Seth) Neilson of Eagle, ID, daughter, Laura (Boone) Hodges of Bedford, WY; and grandchildren, Emma, Avery, Kannon, Dillon, Eden, Taylor, Ian, Ben, Camille, Britta, Bailey, Tyler, Jacob, and Nathan.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gailon Willis Bailey Jr.; daughter, Kelley Jeanne Rich Bailey; sister, Jeanne M. Drolet Masse; and her parents, Joseph Armand Drolet and Isabelle Guillet.
A viewing and celebration of life will be held for both Gailon and Germaine on Thursday, May 12, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 S. Ammon Road.