Tagner Hershel Bailey, 84, known to everyone as Tag, left this earth on October 28 surrounded by Family and friends. Tag was indeed an original and never did things quite like anyone else.
When injured playing football for Fyffe High School, he became the only male member of the cheerleading squad simply because he wanted to support the team in his unique way. He left his hometown of Fyffe, Alabama, to attend the University of Chattanooga, where he became interested in the criminal justice system. This interest led him to Poughkeepsie, New York, where he trained and became a nationally recognized fingerprint expert working with the FBI. His expertise in obtaining fingerprints took him all over the country. In the early sixties, Tag joined the City of Chattanooga Police Department. He successfully implemented The Information Center and brought the department into the computer age. Not only was Tag a detective, but he was also at one time the Inspector for the Liquor and Taxi division. More than a few have commented on the fact that it may have been like asking the fox to watch the hen house, knowing his propensity for his beloved Crown Royal. It was exceptionally enriching for him to have the opportunity of teaching Boy Scouts about fingerprinting when earning their Fingerprinting Merit Badge; After proudly serving the City of Chattanooga for twenty-eight years, Tag retired from the police force with the rank of Major. After his retirement, he became a successful entrepreneur of several businesses. He always kept busy. One of the many traits that his son most admired was his work ethic. He taught him always to show up and do his best. Through the years, Tag participated in local politics, often helping in different campaigns. Tag was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, while serving in the Army Reserves. Nineteen years ago, the Baileys moved to Destin, Florida, to be closer to his son and grandson. After moving to Florida, Tag finally proclaimed his true allegiance to the University of Alabama, ensuring he would not offend his Tennessee friends.
Despite his move, he never lost his love for Chattanooga. Every morning he would religiously read Chattanoogan.com to stay informed of the local Chattanooga news. Tag enjoyed life as few people do. One of the things he received much satisfaction doing was being able to help people, especially out of sticky situations. (you know who you are) He enjoyed hosting family and friends and entertaining them. He was a gracious host and was known for the delicious turnip greens he proudly served each New Year’s Day. He delighted many with his joke-telling and story reenactments; however, the best of all his characteristics was his laugh. His laugh was like no other. Many have tried to imitate him but have failed because his laugh was hearty, unrestrained, and at times boisterous. He laughed with his heart, his sparkling eyes, and his genuine love of life and the people in his world. His world was full of people from all walks of life and all ages. He never met a stranger and was a friend to all. He loved to travel and enjoyed it most when accompanied by his wife and friends. His most memorable trip was to California to celebrate his sixtieth birthday at the Pebble Beach Golf Course. After a bit of coaxing, he even enjoyed his hot air balloon ride in Napa Valley. Another great time he treasured was rafting down the Ocoee with a group of friends celebrating a friend’s birthday. Fishing in Alaska was another remarkable adventure. As an avid golfer, his trip to Scotland to play golf was as memorable as hitting two holes in one on thirteen at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club. He delighted in the years of watching his grandson, Stone, play baseball. It was important to him to be at every game. Tag was a Fraternal Order of Police member and was a Master Mason at the Volunteer Lodge 459 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was a favorite and regular patron of The Pump Room.
He was a former member of the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club and the Emerald Bay Golf Club in Destin, Florida. He was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended the Faith Assembly Christian Church in Destin, Florida. Tag was a good man, a gentleman, and a Christian. Tag leaves behind his wife of forty-eight years, Brenda Hundley Bailey, who he hoodwinked into thinking he was a charming individual with class and decorum. They shared many happy times and adventures, and they kept each other laughing, especially during the last eights years when his health was declining. Always optimistic, Tag faced his illness with grace, bravery, and dignity. Although ill, he continued to embrace life fully and found comfort in being with family and friends. He never lost his quick wit or his wicked sense of humor. He leaves his son, Keith Bailey, Destin, Florida, his grandson, Stone Bailey, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and his former daughter-in-law, Lisa Day, Chattanooga, Tennessee, whom he loved as a daughter. There are several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Odell and Mozelle Bailey, his sister, Naomi Bailey Phillips, and his brother, Bobby D. Bailey. There will be a Celebration of Life on November 19, 2021, at the Heritage Landing community room. Visitation will be from 1pm. until the service at 2pm, with the Reverend Dr. Hunter Huckabay Jr. officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, Tennessee, 38101-9929. You are encouraged to honor Tag’s memory by taking time to be with a loved one, by laughing robustly, and by enjoying the simple pleasures in life.