Richelle Louise Bailey

Published 2:20 pm Friday, October 1, 2021

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Miss Richelle Louise Bailey, 49 of Marion, died on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021 at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

She was born Oct. 17, 1971 in Davie County to Rickey Ray Bailey and Sarah Smith Bailey. She was working as the administrative/public information assistant for the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office.

Survivors: her mother, Sarah Smith Lewis (Carl) of Advance; father, Rickey Ray Bailey (Rose) of Murrells Inlet, S.C.; sister, Shanna Bailey Nichols (Tony) of Advance; and a niece and nephew, Cassidy and Carson Nichols.

She was born and raised in Mocksville where she graduated Davie High School in 1990. She attended the University of North Carolina Asheville for a degree in mass communications. Following graduation, she moved to Marion and began her career at The McDowell News. She was a reporter for almost two decades, serving as assistant editor for 18 of those years. She covered crime, emergency services and courts, but also excelled at off-beat feature stories, landing her seven N.C. Press Association awards.  In May 2013, she joined the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office as the administrative/public information assistant. She also served as the CrimeStoppers coordinator with the Marion Police Department. One of her greatest passions was Project Christmas for McDowell County. Every year, she led the efforts to ensure that local children and families in need received Christmas gifts. She devoted countless hours and nearly 23 years of service to this organization. She was actively involved in the Fraternal Order of Police and Relay for Life. To the many friends and family that knew her, she had a small frame but a mighty heart. She put others’ needs before her own and was willing to lend a helping hand. Her kindheartedness has impacted countless lives and will continue to live on in her legacy.

She will be honored during a memorial service at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3 at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel in Advance, led by Pastor Rodney Hellard.  A police escort will bring her to Marion for a service on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m.

Memorials: Project Christmas of McDowell County at PO Box 2198, Marion, 28752; or Humane Society of Davie at 291 Eaton Road, Mocksville.