It was the perfect ending for Benjamin Bailey.
He had just finished his 35th national bowling tournament, a favorite pastime he developed during his service in the Army, when he died Thursday.
But according to his son, Bo Bailey, he was still on top of his game.
"He started bowling over in Germany, back when they still had pin boys," his son said. "He still beat me and my little brother (in the tournament)."
Benjamin Bailey began his military career when he joined the ROTC program at Treadwell High School in Memphis, Tenn. Before graduation, he was ordered to officer's training.
Most of his military career was spent with the military police - he had served as provost marshal in Heidelberg, Germany. When he retired from the service in 1966, Mr. Bailey was a lieutenant colonel and a battalion commander at Fort Gordon.
Mr. Bailey also spent many hours at Forest Hills Golf Club and was a member of the golf association there. He once received the association's Ben Kaplan Fellowship Award.
"That award was voted on by your peers," his son said. "It was awarded to the member they would most like to play golf with."
But Mr. Bailey's favorite activity was spending time with his family, his son said.
"He was the best father," his son said. "He will be remembered for his sense of humor. He was one of the nicest (fathers) you could have had."
Funeral services for Mr. Bailey will be at 11 a.m. today in the chapel of Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Home. Burial with full military honors will be in Hillcrest Memorial Park.
Survivors include another son, Carl McKinnley Bailey; two daughters, Sandra L. Bailey and Barbara B. Sonnier; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Reach Jennifer Hilliard at (706) 823-3220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.