John Kenneth Bailes of Sumter passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, at the age of 83. Born in North and raised in Union, he was a son of the late James P. Bailes and Mattie Louise Smith Bailes of Union. He was married to Mary Waring Bailes for 60 years.

John is survived by three daughters, Rebecca Compton (Mike) of Sumter, Ronda DeWeese Hodges (Matt) of High Point, North Carolina, and Rosemary Bailes of Boiling Springs; and nine grandchildren, John Michael, Patrick and Michaela Compton, Andrew Compton (Emily), Lauren Quesenberry (Donovan), Ryan DeWeese, Sarah DeWeese, Zach and Erin Hodges; and five great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by two brothers, James P. Bailes Jr. (Sara) of Hendersonville, North Carolina, and William Joseph Bailes (Mona) of Fairfax, Virginia.

He was preceded in death by his youngest brother, Jerry H. Bailes.

John graduated from Clemson College with a major in Dairy Science. He was employed by Barber Pure Milk Co. after graduation. In 1973, he moved to Sumter with his family and worked for Sumter Dairies. He later worked for Diversey in sales and service of equipment. John was also president of the S.C. Dairy Association for two terms. In recognition of distinguished service to The Dairy Industry, John was elected to The South Carolina Dairy Hall of Fame at Clemson University in 2006.

John was a member of St. Mark's United Methodist Church since 1974. He worked diligently and lovingly mentored the youth group for over 10 years. In addition, he served on many committees, taught an adult Sunday School class and sang in the adult choir. He was also an active member of the Men's Fellowship for many years.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Chapel of Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home with the Rev. Wes Conner officiating.

Burial will be in the St. Philips Episcopal Church Cemetery at Bradford Springs in Lee County.

The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday at Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 27 Broad St., Sumter, SC 29150.

Online condolences may be sent to

Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home & Crematory, 221 Broad St., Sumter, is in charge of the arrangements, (803) 775-9386.