We Are Saddened to Report the Passing of Jim and Ninfa Bailey.

Jim and Ninfa Loved This Picture


Jim Left us on 2021 03 08. Sue Daidone reports that Ninfa left us on 2020 09. I believe the best way to REMEMBER, TO HONOUR Jim and Ninfa is to re-post some of the many articles written about them.

Few families are more involved with Shuffleboard than the Bailey Family. Jim is fully engaged in playing both in State Tournaments and in District Tournaments.  As I type this, 2008-03-02 I see that Jim is sitting in 2nd place in State points accumulated for the current season. This January Jim was inducted into the FSA Hall of Fame, player award, an event which attracted many members of his family who travelled from New York State, Jim and Ninfa’s home state. While competing in Midland, ON this summer in the International, Jim won all 11 matches, a rare achievement known as “A PERFECT RECORD”.

However; Jim not only plays the Game, he does more than his share administratively.  Just a couple of examples: He is now the President of the FSA; he is now the 1st VP of the US National Assn; he is now on the Board of Directors of the ISA (International Shuffleboard Assn.)     

Ninfa is no stranger to the “cue”!! She and Jim qualified for the Senior Games in three States in 1998; Florida, Kentucky and New York.  They went on to win gold at the National Senior games in Kissimmee.  Ninfa has also shuffled in International events, seemingly enjoying it a great deal.  

BLOGGER STAN 2008-03-02


NINFA SPEAKS: Jim Bailey grew up on a small farm in upstate N.Y.  Upon graduating from high school Jim Sr. sold the farm and moved into the village of Sterling.  Work in 1955 was hard to come by so he signed on to a local contractor.  Being seasonal work Jim was laid off.  After some coercion from a couple of his cronies they all met at Mary’s Restaurant and there sat a Marine Sargent in his dress blues, medals and ribbons. We all said that’s for us.  Little did we know what lay ahead for us in Paris Island boot camp?  Momma come down here and take us home!!! 

Jim competed 4 years and was honorably discharged.  Back home work was still hard to come by so he hooked up with a company that put up farm silos; that was also seasonal.  About that time he met a wonderful gal named Ninfa who after a whirl wind romance became his wife on Dec. 31, 1960; that is also Ninfa’s Birthday.  It is still going strong after 49 years.  Only God and Ninfa know why she put up with him that long.

Jim and Ninfa moved to Rochester where she was from, where he started working in a paint factory to help pay the bills. 18 months later Kodak called (the big yellow box) and there he stayed for 30 years. Moving up the ranks Jim was in charge of a 400 million dollar coating machine that produces movie and Kodacolor film. This machine ran 24-7.

In 1991 Kodak wanted to down size and they offered a retirement package that he could not refuse.  Therein began a new chapter in their lives.  In Dec. Ninfa and Jim bought a Motor Home and were on their way to Fl. settling in Palmetto where Jim’s Parents lived.  Jim’s Dad was 86 and his health was starting to fail.

That first winter in Florida Jim started doing his first love and that was fishing and playing a little golf.  Jim’s Dad died in June of 1992 and he cherished the time he spent with him.  Time marches on and Jim & Ninfa moved into an RV park where he ran into a new friend Dan Sullivan who in 1996 talked him into playing shuffleboard.  Ninfa hates Dan to this day HA HA.  Jim’s first tournament was at Bradenton Tropical Palms in the Senior Games not knowing rules or any procedures of the game.  Jim brought his cooler of beer and found out that was a big NO-NO.  At the Senior Games Jim ran into a lady who became a lifelong friend who was cheering for him to win in the singles event “Betty Downing”.  Jim played against Sam Barnett and others who were Pro‘s, not knowing what a Pro or a drift card was AND you’re not supposed to beat a pro!! He did.  Jim went on to win the tournament and Betty placed the gold medal around his neck and gave him a hug.  Wow this was fun!!! 

Dan Sullivan talked Jim into going to Tucson, AZ where they competed in the National Senior games.  Jim went on to win the gold medal in singles and Dan and Jim won the Bronze.

In the fall of 1997 Jim joined the Bradenton Shuffle Board Club.  By this time Jim was feeling his oats until he ran into people at the club who knew how to play the game.  He listened and practiced and took his lumps and some butt chewing by his friend Walt Wedel.  Wherein he ran into a lady and declared “I love this game”, she replied “oh know we have created another monster”.  That lady was Ann Hersom. God Bless her.

Jim started up the ladder of success and in the fall of 1999 he was approached by Dave Minnich and asked if he would be interested in running for the State Board as 3rd vice (Jim was already on three Boards in the district)  After much soul searching he agreed.  Ninfa hates Dave to this day.  JUST KIDDING.

Jim owes his success to many, too many to name because he would leave someone out so to them he says God Bless he loves you all.

Submitted by Ninfa Bailey. 


Earl Ball Speaks:  A couple of years ago I wrote an article about Jim and Stan has asked if I’d like to update the article.  Jim’s one of those easy to write about people because “what you see is what you get”.  I’ve never known Jim to say one thing and do another; don’t get me wrong he doesn’t always do what I would want him to and I don’t like that, but he does what he says he will.

In the original article I said he was very committed to the game and he still is.  He’s had to give up his offices in the District and at the Club but only because he has taken on the job of President of the Florida Shuffleboard Association, possibly the largest and certainly the most influential Shuffleboard Association in the world.  And as if that is not enough, he’s the National Shuffleboard Associations 2nd Vice President.  You wouldn’t think he could do much more but he’s serving on a very important committee for the International Shuffleboard Association attempting to setup the 1st world Singles Championship with the objective of determining the top 64 players, by rank, in the world.  To top it off he came back to Florida a Month early this year so he could help paint and re-line all the courts at the Bradenton Club.  It must be the Marine in him, no quit!

When I wrote the article in 2005 Jim was in the process of demonstrating that he was a fine player; what he has done since 2005 is demonstrate with conviction and determination that he is a Great Player >> indeed, one of the games superstars.  Jim has qualified for the Florida Shuffleboard “Hall of Fame” with a fabulous 2006-2007 season when he won just about everything in site and will be inducted into the FSA HOF in January of 2008.  

In the intervening period between 2005 and 2007, Jim has won a couple of National titles and has been an important part of two World Championship teams.  Just to prove he’s as good as there is, he won all 11 matches at the last International World Championships in Midland, ON, a rare feat indeed; but he’s almost done it three times having won 10 of 11 in Brazil as well as in Lakeside, OH.

I bet he’ll accomplish just as much in the next couple of years and I’ll write about him again.

Earl Ball of THE SHUFFLER 2007 10 30. 

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1 Response to We Are Saddened to Report the Passing of Jim and Ninfa Bailey.

  1. Nichael Zellner says:

    I am so saddened to see and read this notice. Jim and Ninfa held a very special place in the hearts of my wife and I. They were the epitome that Shuffleboard is not as important as the Friendships it creates. After the 2008 ISA Tournament in Germany my wife and I traveled to Italy and most importantly the Vatican. Inside the Basilica there was a huge crowd and there I noticed another taller semi familiar person standing above them all and I curiously wiggled up to get a better view and sure enough it was Jim Bailey with Ninfa in tow behind him. We caught up and hugged. After watching a Mass we met outside and I told them we had rented a Lambretta scooter and were running sidewalks and back streets to see all the sights and circumvented city traffic. They were excited and interested so we took them to the scooter rental place.
    The 4 of us spent the next 2 days visiting all the sights of Rome and enjoying restaurants for the next 2 days. They were such a loving and generous couple as every meal we wrestled to see who pays the meal bill. Rest In Peace the undoubtedly two best people we met during our years in International Shuffleboard.


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