Helen Elizabeth Bailey was born Helen Elizabeth Morton in Winston (Culpepper County), Virginia on August 28, 1918 to the parents of Ben Morton and Isabella Spotswood Morton. She went home to be with our Lord and Savior on April 8, 2014 at the age of 95, while residing at Wadsworth Glen Health and Rehabilitation Center in Middletown, Connecticut. Her husband of 43 years, Samuel Thomas Bailey, preceded her in death on May 28, 1982.
Helen was the second oldest of five children. During her teen years, she moved from Virginia to Bayonne, New Jersey and attended Bayonne High School. She later studied to become a licensed practical nurse and was employed for many years as a nurse/receptionist for the now deceased Dr. Clement Jones, M.D. of Bayonne. She would occasionally reassure family members and friends of their health by offering to check their blood pressure for free in her home.
Helen was a long-time, faithful member of Friendship Baptist Church in Bayonne, New Jersey and served as a Nurse’s Aid, Sunday School Teacher, Girl Scout Leader, Brownie Leader and Cub Scout Leader. She read her bible daily and exhibited a Christ-like love and compassion for others. Over the years, she took in and cared for several children in her home. In November 1998, she was honored as the Woman of the Year at Friendship for her dedication and service to her church and the community. While residing in Connecticut, she attended Zion First Baptist Church in Middletown for eight years, along with her son and daughter-in-law until her health failed her. Her favorite songs include Just a Closer Walk with Thee, What a Friend We Have in Jesus and It Is Well with My Soul.
Helen LOVED to crochet! Her patience and attention to detail complemented her joy of crocheting, thereby allowing her to create some of the most beautiful and sought after handicrafts, such as bedspreads, doll clothes, furniture doilies and afghans. She shared her gift by teaching her daughter, daughter-in-law and many ladies and their daughters, how to crochet, and she organized a mother-daughter crochet class.
Affectionately know as “Aunt Hannah” by some nieces, nephews and friends and as Aunt Helen by other family members and friends, she was a quiet, kind-hearted, accommodating woman. She always tried to please her family members at dinner time, even to the point of customizing a meal to the their individual palettes: macaroni and cheese for daughter Isabell, macaroni and cheese with tomato sauce for husband Sam and rice with margarine or butter, instead of macaroni and cheese for son Robert. She loved to sing softly, sew, solve word-find puzzles, watch ice-skating and professional wrestling on TV and root for her favorite professional baseball teams – initially the Brooklyn Dodgers until they relocated to Los Angeles and then the New York Mets.
Helen leaves to cherish her memory her sister Martha Batiste, daughter Isabell Vyanne (Bailey) Burke, son Robert Thomas “Bob” Bailey and daughter-in-law Mittie Beatrice “Bea” Bailey.
She also leaves five grandchildren: Shawn Jason Burke, Wanda Helene Eltirifi, Angelique Linette Burke, Cheyney Ray Bailey and Krisler Kay Bailey; three grandsons-in-law: Shrad Eltirifi, Keith Hutchings and Stuart Luke; five great grandchildren: Tre’Shawn Anthony Hallman, Victoria Hope Hutchings, Elijah Alexander Hutchings, Adam Robert Luke and Isaiah Samuel Luke – born just a few days ago; two Godchildren: Rose Johnson and Margo Feuker; six nieces; three nephews; and a host of cousins, loved ones and friends.