Gladys Bailey-Hudec (November 16, 1929 – February 15, 2021), lovingly known by family and friends as “Hap”, passed peacefully from this life in her beloved Anacortes, Washington home on Monday, February 15, 2021.
Hap was born in 1929 in San Francisco, CA to an artist and sculptor mother, and an artist-author, world traveler father. So, it was really no wonder that she embraced those traits in her own life. The Bailey family consisting of Truman Bailey Sr., Rosalie, Hap and her brothers Maus, Truman Jr. and Nigel all packed up in the new ford “Woody” wagon and moved to the East Coast for Truman’s work.
They would travel back and forth across the country between New York and Zig Zag, Oregon where they had a few log cabins used for summer rentals. Hap graduated in 1950 from Rye High School in New York. After graduation, she traveled by steamship down to Peru in the hope of attending the university there and spending time with her father, who went down there on commission to design and build the Institute of Manual arts in Lima.
When she returned she married her long time sweetheart John W. (Bud) Johnson. They both had a deep love for the outdoors and alpine skiing. In search of better snow, they moved west to Yosemite and eventually Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra mountains in California. There they taught skiing together and Hap opened Mammoth’s first reservation service for skiers’ accommodations.
Their son Wes, whom they would say could ski before he could walk, came along in 1963. Hap and Bud divorced and she moved to Santa Monica along with Wes and adopted daughter Nancy In 1968 she began working for designers Charles and Ray Eames, as Charles’ personal assistant. Hap had a keen eye for photography, which she honed at the Eames office and later mastered in the wild.
When Charles Eames passed away in 1978, Hap moved to Corona del Mar. There, while working for her Brother Nigel she got her real estate license and then eventually returned to Mammoth. In 1992 she met up and eventually married her long time friend Stan Hudec. Together they found and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. They purchased a wonderful home on Sunset Point out on the west side of San Juan Island. When Stan’s health began to fail, they moved to Anacortes and built a home in Skyline, Anacortes.
Hap was an avid member of the Skagit Valley Camera Club, the garden club, Flounder Bay Yacht club, and had a myriad of other interests. Her wanderlust for the outdoors combined with wildlife and travel were the perfect mix. She loved Africa and on one of her trips there she took her grandson Justin (age 11) on a photographic safari to the camps of the Masai Mara and beyond.
In addition she has traveled in the Arctic to roam with Polar Bears, Harbin China to photograph Giant Pandas, South America to waddle around with penguins, and enjoyed many other worldly adventures. Hap loved all dogs and especially adored Alaskan Malamutes and had two of them named Balik and Bella. She never left the house without a pocketful of dog treats in her jacket.
She was often seen camping in her VW Westfalia Van, or navigating the waters around Fidalgo Island in her 22′ Devlin boat named “Peregrine”.
She had an indomitable spirit, a wicked sense of humor, a generous heart, a story-teller’s soul, a dazzling smile, and a contagious laugh. She collected friends and nurtured friendships in the same way she had the magic of making plants grow.
She will be missed by those of us lucky enough to have called her our friend. Fair winds and following seas to our beloved Hap.
Hap is survived by her son, Wes Johnson of Anacortes, her grandson, Justin Johnson of Newport Beach, California, her brother Nigel Bailey, her brother Truman Bailey, many adoring nieces and nephews, and a plethora of adoring friends.