Nellie Downs Bailey

Published 5:26 pm Saturday, February 27, 2016

Nellie Downs Bailey, 89, of Chesterfield, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, at her home.



She was born in Illinois on Feb. 21, 1927, to Roberta Record and Don Edmund Downs. She resided, the majority of her life, in Suffolk. For the last 26 years, she had resided in Chesterfield County to be close to her children and grandchildren.

Nellie was a graduate of Johnston-Willis Hospital School of Nursing in the Class of 1947. While attending nursing school, she was enrolled in the Army Cadet Nursing Corp. She then joined the teaching staff at Louise Obici Memorial Hospital School of Practical Nursing in Suffolk.

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She was appointed as the Director of the Obici Practical Nursing School and remained with the LPN School for 19 years. Nellie retired as the director in 1987.

Nellie and Russell were married in 1946 after his return from serving in the U.S. Army in the European Theater. She and Russell were members of Providence United Methodist Church in Suffolk from 1946-1990.

After their move to Chesterfield, Virginia they were members of Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church, and they were current members of Hopewell United Methodist Church.

Nellie was a lifetime member in the Johnston-Willis Nursing Alumnae Association. She was also very active in her church homes as an adult Sunday school instructor, Circle member, and choir member. Her love of music was passed to her daughters and her grandchildren.

Nellie is survived by daughters, Diane Bailey Sears (Steve) and Patricia Bailey Crockett (Joseph); loving grandchildren, Shannon Andrea Sears, Stephanie Sears Harrelson (Bruce), Joseph Crockett, Jr. (Heidi), Carly Crockett Philp (Jerry), and Ethan Bailey Crockett (Elise); and three great-grandchildren, Tiffany Kaylie Harrelson, Samuel Jun Crockett, and Annabelle Catherine Philp.

Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the lights of her life.

She also is survived by sisters, Dorothy Downs Cobb of Zuni, Mary Downs O’Geary of Largo, Fla., Sue Downs Umphlette of Windsor, Sandra Downs Wagner of Front Royal, and many loving nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband of 67 years Russell Ernest Bailey. She was also predeceased by her siblings Orin Downs, Earl (Butch) Downs, Edna Downs Riggins and Hellen Downs.

A funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory at 509 West Washington St. in Suffolk. The family will receive friends at 1pm, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the name of Nellie Downs Bailey, R.N., Class of 1947, to the Johnston-Willis Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarship assistance to nurses to complete advanced medical degrees. Donations can be sent to 1612 Winters Hill Circle, Richmond, VA 23236.

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