Walnut teen remembered for his contagious smile

Bailey Broers was ‘full of fire’

WALNUT – Bailey Broers is remembered for his contagious smile and the good times he shared with friends.

Broers, 16, of rural Walnut, was killed in a single-vehicle accident July 15 north of Sheffield, but his friends and teachers won’t forget the impact he made on them.

Broers, a junior at Bureau Valley High School, was a member of the school’s FFA, in addition to being a member of the Illinois Milking Shorthorn Association and a member of the Illinois Ayrshire Association. He had also worked and helped out on the family farm and at MJ Seed Company.

One of Broers’ closest friends, Carter Haney, said he’ll always remember the contagious smile Bailey had.

“He was an amazing kid, who did a lot of good for the world. I am going to miss him a lot, but I know he’s doing all right up there. Every time he saw me he’d always say, ‘Well, hey there critter,’ and I’ll never forget it. Just as I will never forget all the good times we shared.”

Bureau Valley High School Principal Duane Price said the Bureau Valley family is “heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of our student, our classmate, and our friend.”

“Bailey was always a polite and respectful young man who made everyone’s day brighter with his big smile,” Price said. “Running deeper than his hats and clothes, his passion for FFA and farm life was in his blood. His kind presence will be greatly missed in our FFA program and the hallways of BVHS.”

“Bailey was a great FFA officer and friend, and would always put a smile on your face and was the life of the party, he will forever be remembered. It will never be goodbye, just see you later,” said Lilly Allicks, FFA Officer.

Bailey’s sister, Bre Broers, also remembers him for his smile.

“There was never a dull moment with that kid, and his smile could light up the darkest of rooms. He had the biggest heart ever, and impacted the lives of so many,” she said.

‘Full of fire’

“I think one of Bailey’s friends, Ty McVicker, said it best when he said he was ‘full of fire’ and able to ‘bring the best out of the worst’,” said Caseelyn Johnston, Bureau Valley agriculture teacher.

“I don’t know if I ever saw a day that Bailey was in a bad mood, he would always stroll into the ag room with a smile on his face, even when he wasn’t having a good day. Though we all knew school was definitely not his favorite thing in the world, he made being an ag teacher easy. He was the type of kid we dream of having in class, the kind that answers questions fast, but then asks you harder questions back to keep the conversation going.

“But beyond school, Bailey was a friend to everyone; anyone who needs someone to listen or just shoot the crap with, he would be there. As for leadership on our FFA Officer, Bailey was one of the best kind of leaders, he was a silent leader who listened to everyone and pushed others to do their best, and wanted the best for our entire chapter,” Johnston said.

“As many have said, Bailey had a smile that could be seen in a dark room – or this past year, behind a mask. I’ve always admired Bailey’s work ethic, if he wasn’t working on activities for FFA, he would be out on the dairy farm or at MJ. I was always amazed at just how much passion for ag ran through his veins. Our chapter, our school, our community, and our world will forever be impacted by Bailey Broers. I can confidently say in a short period of time, that young man influenced more than most will in an entire lifetime. Bailey may be gone, but his legacy will last far beyond his short time with us on earth.”

Broers was the son of David Broers of Walnut and Amanda Broers of New Bedford. He was the brother of Brianna Broers, Leigha Johnson, Danielle Morris and Logan Johnson, all of New Bedford.