‘We were stroking his hair, which he always loved’: Devastated widow of TV weatherman Mike Bailey reveals her heartbreaking last moments with her husband before his tragic death at age 71
Helena Bailey has spoken candidly about the death of her husband Mike Bailey.
The veteran Sydney TV weatherman Mike Bailey died earlier this month after suffering a stroke and falling into a coma.
And Helena, best known as ‘Miss Helena’ on Romper Room, revealed her husband’s last moments in an interview with Woman’s Day, saying the 71-year-old TV veteran ‘quietly slipped away’ with his family by his side.
Tragedy: Helena Bailey has spoken candidly about the death of her husband Mike Bailey. The couple seen here in 2006
‘He was comfortable and resting on his favourite side,’ revealed the 73-year-old.
‘We were stroking his hair, which he always loved.’
The widow and mother-of-four also revealed her family were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support following Mike’s passing less than two weeks ago.
‘I knew he was loved, but had no idea how much,’ said Helena, adding, ‘The beautiful words relayed by so many people mean the world to us.’
Peaceful: Helena told Woman’s Day that the 71-year-old TV veteran ‘quietly slipped away’ with his family by his side
Bailey married Helena, also known as ‘Miss Helena’ from Romper Room, in 1986. They remained together for 35 years until his death
Mike and Helena married in 1986, after meeting at a Channel 7 telethon in 1981 and subsequently falling in love.
Helena starred in the children’s educational TV program Romper Room from 1978 to 1987.
Meanwhile Mike joined the ABC as a cadet journalist at the ABC in 1968, before leaving to work at Channel Seven for 13 years until his return to the national broadcaster.
After retiring from the ABC in 2007 he returned to presenting the weather again during a brief stint on Channel Nine until he was let go in 2009.
Mike Bailey appeared on Sydney TV screens for nearly four decades, presenting the weather on the ABC, Seven and Nine
Mr Bailey in his most familiar role, as the weatherman on ABC Sydney’s 7pm news bulletin
He also attempted a political career in 2007 when he unsuccessfully took on Joe Hockey in the Federal seat of North Sydney.
Bailey was married to Helena for 35 years. They had one child together, a son named Michael.
He suffered a stroke at their home in early June and had been in hospital in a coma until his death.
In more recent years, Bailey had been Chairman of the Wests Ashfield club in 2011, and later the Wests Tigers and Wests Magpies clubs. The roles followed on from his lifelong support of the Western Suburbs Magpies team.
‘The news of Mike’s passing is devastating,’ Wests Ashfield CEO Simon Cook said. ‘Mike was a mentor, a friend and a beautiful human being.
‘The staff and I will miss his smiling face, his wisdom, loyalty and his unwavering support.’
Mr Bailey in a campaign appearance during his failed attempt to win the Federal seat of North Sydney for the Labor Party from Joe Hockey in 2007
Bailey was a passionate supporter of the Western Suburbs Magpies, becoming chairman of the Wests Ashfield club and the Wests Tigers joint venture. He’s pictured here with ‘Mark the Magpie’ and veteran radio commentator, Frank Hyde
Last year Bailey was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to rugby league and the community.
A devoted Catholic, Bailey wrote a piece for The Catholic Weekly in 2016 marking the 30th anniversary of his marriage to Helena.
‘Working to achieve that happy ending [a long marriage] doesn’t come as easily as it might appear through the pages of novels dealing with romance,’ he wrote.
‘It requires a daily effort to continue demonstrating qualities of love and involvement that originally attract people to become involved with their partners.’