Rev. Edwin P. Bailey

Published 1:56 pm Monday, October 10, 2016

The Rev. Edwin P. Bailey, 88, died surrounded by family in the care of FirstHealth Hospice House after a brief illness on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.

He was the son of Dr. William Otis Bailey and Mary Hardin Parker. His brother, Dr. William “Billy” Bailey, and sister, Mary Lillington Bailey Merring, predeceased him.

In December 1948, his older brother married Frances Wisnewski. It was there that he met Francis’ Mount Holyoke College roommate, Anne. As he regularly told the story, she instantly impressed him and became the love of his life. They were married in Short Hills, N.J. on March 24, 1951.Theirs was a life of hard work, humor, conversation and the struggle of faith. He was steeped in and proud of his home state of Virginia. He graduated from Episcopal High School and then the University of Virginia, majoring in English. After his U.S. Army stint, he attended the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va. She worked at the Globe Distributing Co., a beer distributor. To the relief of the Episcopal bishop, she secured a teaching position at St. Agnes School for Girls. In June 1955, he was ordained a deacon. The following year, in Farnham, Va., he was ordained a priest. They served together in a series of parishes along the Eastern Seaboard:  Warsaw, Va.; West Hartford and Greenwich, Conn.; Newport, R.I.; Great Falls, Va.; Smithfield; and Winnsboro, S.C. In 1987, he accepted the chaplaincy of the Church Farm School in Paoli, Pa., where he also taught. The couple spent the last 12 years of church service in Cooleemee, with him pastoring the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Church of The Ascension in Fork.The couple retired to Penick Village in Southern Pines in 2000. To keep sharp, he said, he would teach himself a new song every day. His harmonica was always at hand for easy sharing of a pleasant tune.

Survivors: sons, Robert, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Christopher, of Bloomville, N.Y., and their respective life partners, Theodora and Victoria; a daughter, Elizabeth, of Southern Pines; and 2 grandsons, Nicholas and Alexander, of Montreal.

A memorial service was conducted at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10 in the Penick Village Chapel. Burial will be beside wife Anne at The Church of the Ascension, a congregation each of them cherished, on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at noon. They were married for 63 years. She died on April 8, 2014.

Memorials: FirstHealth Hospice and The Penick Village Foundation.