Hope Francis Flanders Bailiff died Jan. 9 at home in Northampton in the apartment she shared with her son David Danielson and his wife Deborah Watrous. Hope was born in Chilmark on June 29, 1918, the eldest of the five children of Robert and Gladys Flanders. Her sister Bette Carroll still lives in Menemsha.
After waitressing at the Home Port, Hope went to Bates College where she met and married Arthur (Dan) Danielson. Over 30 years passed with summers on the Vineyard and winters off-Island where Hope worked as teacher and principal in New Hampshire schools, assistant superintendent in Newton, and professor of education at Northeastern. Divorced, she married Hubert (Obie) Tower and they lived on Lagoon Pond until his death. She then developed family land in Tower Ridge in Oak Bluffs before moving to Sarasota, Fla. near her sister Patricia Smith. There, she met and married her third husband, Joe Tate Bailiff of North Carolina, and headed up a vibrant household involving Joe’s sons Eddie and Jim Bailiff, their wives and a “passel of young’uns” who all loved their “wicked Yankee stepmother.” She had a great gift for making and keeping friends, and touched many lives as a teacher, mentor, and front-line feminist.
In her later years, Hope wrote an assisted biography called Up-Island Woman that was published by Peppertree Press. She moved from Sarasota back to Massachusetts where she spent the last two years of her life living with her son, his wife and loving caregivers.
Hope is survived by her son David Danielson as well as five grandchildren (Lucia and Maria Danielson of Greenfield, Jason Danielson of Oak Bluffs, Benjamin Danielson of Seattle, Wash. and Robin Hafitz of New York city) and two great-grandchildren (Rufus and Cyrus Seward). She is also survived by her sister Bette Carroll of Menemsha.
A series of celebrations of Hope’s life is being planned. A traditional wake will be held in Northampton. A service of remembrance will be conducted at the Christian Church in Sarasota, and a vesper service will be held on Lagoon Pond in the spring. Dates and details will be posted on the memorial website hopebailiff.com as well as on the Facebook page of Hope F. Bailiff.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the United Negro College Fund, 1805 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001.