Community of Stromsburg Reacts To Death of Couple

Stromsburg, Neb.-- After an accidental fire killed a McCool Junction couple Saturday morning, friends are sharing their memories of Charles and Juanita Bailey.

Charles was a pastor in Stromsburg for several years at United Methodist Church and his wife, Juanita was considered to be a second pastor for all her dedication and devotion to the community.

The town of Stromsburg is still in shock.

"Shock, disbelief especially since they were here not too long ago and it really was quite a shock to us," said Kurth Deland, friend of the Baileys.

The Delands were in the congregation when Charles was the pastor at the United Methodist Church for seven years back in the 80's. Monday they shared many fond memories.

"They were a pleasure to have around, you didn't know quite for sure what was going to happen," said Deland.

Charles and his wife Juanita made a lasting impression on his congregation and pastors to follow in his footsteps. John Dale was the pastor of the church right after the Baileys moved away and says the pastoral community thought highly of them.

"It's the type of community where the pastors get involved in all of that," said Dale.

Juanita was very energetic and helped plan many events for the church and community and Charles was a sportsman, loved hunting and fishing.

"Charles was the kind of person that people would tell stories about on various things he did," said Dale.

Current pastor Daniel Spearow had to break the news to many in his congregation Sunday morning.

"I saw the looks of disbelief on people's faces. I did see people wiping away tears, very shocked at the news," said Spearow.

Now it's tearful goodbyes from a church that loved Charles and Juanita.

"There's nothing gentle about losing a beloved former pastor," said Spearow.

"We enjoyed them and we'll miss them," said Deland.

Funeral services will take place on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Stromsburg.


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