Jackson James Bailey, a former Placerville mayor who stood out in a black eyepatch and vivid wardrobe in the colorful foothills town, died July 15 of heart failure, his family said. He was 86.
A Placerville resident since 1959, Mr. Bailey was first elected to the City Council for one term in 1968. He rejoined the council in a 1987 special election and was re-elected twice to serve until 1992, including two years as mayor.
He also was known in the historic mining town for his playful personality and fashion sense. He greeted residents and tourists who smiled at his head-to-toe attire including shoes he spray-painted in green, pink and other brilliant colors.
Matching hats shaded his bald head and an eyepatch that he wore since he lost his left eye in a golfing accident at age 50. During the annual Founder's Day and Wagon Train celebration, he walked the streets in Western wear.
"He worked in downtown Placerville, and people would stop and wait to see what he'd be wearing," said his son Christopher. "He liked to stand out."
Mr. Bailey was born in 1924 in Rio Vista and graduated in 1942 as Rio Vista High School senior class president. He briefly attended University of the Pacific before serving as a Navy gunnery instructor during World War II.
He spent 40 years at Pacific Gas & Electric Co., starting as a lineman in Rio Vista in 1946. He worked as a district marketing representative after moving to Placerville and retired in 1986.
He raised five children with his wife of 48 years, Mary Jane. He was a former chairman of the Placerville Planning Commission and served as a representative to the Sacramento Regional Area Planning Commission.
Mr. Bailey was active in the community as a longtime member of Kiwanis Club. He was a past president of Kiwanis Club of Placerville and a district leader for California, Nevada and Hawaii. He coached for Hangtown Little League and was active for many years in Masons, Scottish Rite and Ben Ali Shrine organizations.
He was a past president of Cold Springs Golf & Country Club, where an errant ball left him blind in one eye.
"It affected his depth perception and made things tough for him, but he never complained," his son said. "He continued playing golf."