Unity Chappell Bailey

Published 6:01 pm Monday, February 6, 2012

February 5, 2012

Unity Chappell Bailey, a devoted wife, mother, sister, friend, educator and Christian, died on Feb. 5, 2012. She was born at Lakeview Hospital in Suffolk on July 26, 1926, to Herbert Hart and Sue Camp Chappell. She was a graduate of Courtland High School, Madison College and earned both a master’s degree and Certificate of Advanced Studies from Old Dominion University.

Mrs. Bailey taught mathematics to students in South Norfolk and Hampton before leaving education briefly to become a mathematician at National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Langley, the predecessor of NASA. She began her 32-year career in Suffolk Public Schools in 1954. During her tenure at Suffolk High School, she was a classroom teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal for instruction and principal. She also spent three years as principal at Booker T. Washington Middle School prior to her retirement in 1986. In addition, she was a member of the adjunct faculty at Paul D. Camp Community College.

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Mrs. Bailey was an active member of Oxford United Methodist Church for almost 60 years, serving in numerous capacities in the church’s ministry. She was a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Council on Ministries and Administrative Board, a Trustee and served two terms as President of the United Methodist Women. She was a woman of strong faith who witnessed to others throughout her life by her selfless giving and caring.

Mrs. Bailey is survived by her husband of 63 years, Charles Lawson Bailey Sr. She is also survived by a daughter, Nancy Bailey Webb and her husband, Joseph Nimmo Webb, of Suffolk, and son, Charles Lawson Bailey Jr. and his wife, Katherine Waterland Bailey, of Evans, Ga. In addition, she is survived by six grandchildren, Joseph N. Webb Jr. and wife, Mindy Mottley Webb, Jarratt Bailey Webb and wife, Emily Ford Webb, and Jordan Chappell Webb and wife, Britney Bishop Webb, all of Suffolk. Grandchildren Ashley Leigh Bailey, Charles Lawson Bailey III and Katherine Alyse Bailey all reside in Evans. A great-grandson, Joseph Graham Webb, lives in Suffolk. Mrs. Bailey is survived by a sister, Ida Chappell Beaton, of Richmond, Va., and was predeceased by three sisters, Sue Darden Chappell, Rebecca Chappell Gillette and Romine Chappell Turner. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins who were very dear to her. Until the end, she loved to reminisce about time spent with her family, immediate and extended, that meant so much to her.

A celebration of Mrs. Bailey’s life will be held at Oxford United Methodist Church, 601 W. Washington St., Suffolk on Thursday at 3 p.m. by the Rev. Ken Hanson and the Rev. E. Clifton Whitlock. The family will receive friends at the home of Joe and Nancy Webb after the service. R.W. Baker & Co Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army Suffolk Corps Physical Health & Education Building, 420 Bank St., Suffolk, VA 23434 or to the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave., Suffolk VA 23434. Condolences may be registered at www.rwbakerfh.com.