Norman Edward Bailey Jr., (affectionately known as “Joe”) was born on in Norfolk, Virginia to the late Norman Bailey Sr. and Irene Beatrice Keeling.
God blessed Norman upon his birth and provided him with an indelible instrument that he would use to serve others his entire life. God gave Norman his golden beautiful voice. That voice we ALL loved to hear him sing. Norman LOVED singing!!! And boy could he sing!!!! There will NEVER be another Norman Bailey Jr.
As a young child Norman sang with a young male gospel group called Vice Royal Jubileers, which was directed by Mark Richardson. The group sang every Sunday morning on radio stations, WRAP and WTAR which were located in Norfolk, Virginia. The group also travelled to North Carolina and surrounding areas to perform. Also, during that time period, there were many famous gospel groups travelled to Norfolk to perform. Some of the groups but not all inclusive were the late Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers, Gospel Cavaliers, Madame Edna Garman Cook, Ivy Tucker and the Dixie Hummingbirds. One thing that many people didn’t know, was that the famous Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers wanted Norman to join the group and travel with them. His grandmother (guardian) refused because she thought the he was too young.
Norman grew up during some very difficult times. His mother (Irene), made a decision to move to Maryland for employment purposes, while leaving her children in the care of others. As young adolescents, Norman and his younger brother Wilbur Bailey decided to hitch-hike from Virginia all the way here to St. Mary’s County Lexington Park, Maryland to be with their mother. Even during those times, God was on his side. Both young men made it safe and free from harm, isn’t God good?
Upon Norman arriving in St. Mary’s county, people instantly took notice of his high-pitched tenor voice. Several Rock Bands and Spiritual groups wanted him to sing with them. Norman could always sing!!! And sing, he did. From a child until his later days. Norman became a member of Zion United Methodist Church for over 60 years. Singing as a soloist, choir member, and he was the vocalist of the Zion Methodist Men Spiritual group. The group produce one album in the late 1970’s. Over those years, Norman sang at many different venues to include, funerals, weddings, retirements, change of command (Military); in addition, people would ask him on the spot wherever he was, to just sing. Even during times in his last days, Norman was singing the songs of Zion. Norman’s steadfast faith and belief in the Lord has always remained solid.
In his teenage years, Norman met the “love of his life” Delores Taylor. The two formed a union that lasted until his death. From that union, Norman and Delores had two children, Desiree Inez Bailey and Troy Dion Bailey Sr. Norman was also the proud grandfather to one grandson, Troy Bailey Jr. Norman’s love for his family was unparalleled. He would always confess his love to his wife and children, and this was on a daily basis. That was Norman. When it came to confessing/sharing his love, Norman was not a selfish person. He loved everyone, in fact many of you reading this, he told you that he also loved you. That was how Norman was, a very loving man.
Education: Norman graduation from the former George Washington Carver High School. July 1966 Attended Prince George’s County Public Schools Adult Education certified in Air Duct Sheet Metal Fabrication Course. Attended Materials Engineering Institute successfully completing the Metallurgical Course entitled Aluminum and Its Alloys. Norman was always interested in haircare. This interest prompted to seek out training. Norman met a gentleman in the military, Seaman Woodson and Master Barber Marion Johnson. Both gentlemen took Norman under their wings, and trained to become a barber. Norman later joined with the late Sylvester Barnes in his barbershop, where they both cut hair together for years. Norman also successfully completed many correspondence courses while serving in U.S. Navy. Norman was a Certified Career Counselor in the United States Navy.
Norman was a civil service employee for 26 years. Simultaneously, Norman served proudly for 25 years and retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve. His job classification was an Aircraft Structural Mechanic and he was assigned to Patrol Squadron VP68 at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Maryland. While serving he obtained the rank of E-5 and received many accolades during his career. He had tours at: Andrews Airforce Base, Rota Spain, Azores Portugal, New Orleans, Jacksonville Florida, Bermuda and Norfolk Naval Base. During his career, he received numerous Letters of Appreciation Citations. One that he was most proud to receive was a citation from the Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron 68. Norman was commended for his outstanding services to the “BLACKHAWKS” of Patrol Squadron 68. According Captain Lemmon, his dedication and reliability were underscored by his ability to consistently excel in all areas of assignment. Norman also received a Certificate of Training from the Department of the Navy for Basic Supervisory Development, Instructor Training and Conference Leadership.
After both aforementioned careers, Norman continued to work. He began employment as a security clerk/guard for several different contractors. Norman worked until March 2019, his last company was Jahn Corporation Lexington Park, Maryland.
My Loving Husband:
It only feels like yesterday, when we first met and fell in love. You were so handsome, charming and persistent. How could I resist? That beautiful singing voice was capturing and you always wanted me nearby. I guess that was to keep you safe from other seekers. Baby, you know I had your back throughout our lifetime. We always put God first in our relationship from the time we met. Church involvement was the main focus, you singing “Sending up my Timber” whilst I ushered in the congregation.
Our love was so strong; nothing could crack the bonded seal that we had together. Love kept us together until the end.
Your last days, we were together I heard, “I love you so much” at least a thousand times. Now, I know that you were preparing me for your leaving me returning to God. We will always be spiritually together; but you should know that I miss your handsome face, physical body, loving touch, your gentle
kiss, and you providing a strong sense of security for me. In my heart you are still with me and God will take care of me. We will see each other again as we discussed before you departed. You have been and now for sure MY ANGEL. I love you throughout eternity, you wife, your baby, and your girl…. Delores.
From your loving daughter:
I can’t believe you are gone. You have been my father for 59 wonderful years. I could not have asked for a better father. You were a kind hearted and loving person that could practically get along with anyone. I miss you Da. I wish you were here, but I know God has a better place for you.
You were a family man and loved us unconditionally. I remember when you were not feeling your best, you would call me to see how I am doing. If there was a tornado watch or snow storm you asked if I was alright. That’s what kind of father you were to me. Now that you are gone, I will not have you to protect me. You were the Wind Beneath My Wings. Fly, fly so high you can touch sky, thank you Da, for you were the Wind beneath My Wings.
From your loving son:
Da, I will MISS you. While I type this, tears are welling up in my eyes and running down my face. As I began to grow into manhood, I understood you more. Things that I may have missed or didn’t fully understand as a child/teenager; as I entered into manhood, I understood and learned from you what it took to become a man. You were a hardworking man. I always remember you working and maintaining several jobs simultaneously in an effort to provide multiple streams of income for your family. You did what it took to support your family, those are some ideal qualities of what a man truly is. Da, I watched you and I learned from you. Da I also learned from you what family was really all about, especially demonstrating a son’s love for his mother. Da, you loved your mother, everyone could see that. You called her several times per day (everyday) and also visited her during your lunch break. I saw that and I learned from you how to love and treat my mother. Like you Da, I am definitely a “momma’s boy.”
Da, although I couldn’t sing like you, I still found myself singing in the men’s choir at St. Mark United Methodist Church Hanover, Maryland. I was not the lead vocalist; however, I did lead several songs. Da, you were in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and I in turn served in the U.S. Navy. I followed directly in your footsteps. Like you, I have always had several jobs simultaneously. I can remember coming home to visit you and I would be wearing either a new suit, shoes, shirt, or something different that you had not seen on me before. You would really like it, so I would go back to the store and purchase it for you. Over the years, I would shower you with so many suits, shoes etc. It really made me feel good to do those things, but even more so, to see how happy they made you. Of course, you couldn’t wait for someone to provide you with a compliment, because you would say, “My son bought that for me.” You were so proud. Da, you would always embrace me and tell me that you loved me. You always, said you loved both of your children and that you were proud of us. Hearing those words when you were here, I just would respond or say yeah, Da we know. I can remember the day that the Hospice Nurse told my mother and I that you had 48 hours to live, I LOST IT. I walked away from the conversation and went to your bedside; I got on both of my knees in an effort to thank you for everything that you have done for me. I was unable to get one word out, because I began crying uncontrollably. Later on, after gathering myself, I returned to your bedside to tell you how much you meant to me and that I loved you. I told you that I was proud of you. Even in those moments, with what little strength you had, you told me that you loved me and was proud of me. Today, those words have a different meaning to me. We talked a bit more and I told you that I was here and that I was not leaving. You were so happy to hear that I was going to remain by your side. In my mind, where else would I be? You are my father and you have always been there for me, so I promised you that I would remain by your side. I told you not to worry about me or anything else, I wanted you to rest peacefully.
Da, now that you are gone, I will no longer hear you say those words, “I love you and I am proud of you”, but one thing that is for sure I am your son, and you will ALWAYS be a part of me. I learned so many things from you and I reflect on them all of time. Against Ma’s will, you purchased me a BB gun!! You taught me how to aim and shoot. Da, I don’t believe that I told you until your last days, but that skillset took me from the country to the U.S. Navy (Basic training, I was a top shooter), P.G. Corrections (I was a top shooter) and the Howard County Police Department (I was not only a top shooter, but also a Firearms Instructor). People thought that I had formal training, I would reply to them, nope my Dad taught me how to shoot a BB gun.
Da, I am so hurt that you are gone. Honestly, I never thought of you going anywhere. Although I am a 55-year-old man, your departure makes me feel like small child who has lost his way in life. But one thing is for sure, you always made it clear that I am still your child and you treated me as such.
Da, while you were sick, I began singing songs that you have sang over the past years. The words just came back to me. I couldn’t get through the songs without crying. I love my father and I honestly don’t know how I am going to get through this phase of life. Da, I am certain that you heard me while at your bedside. I told you the night prior to you passing, I that I was going to recommit to going to church. And I did on that very night. I actually emailed the Pastor and told him everything that was going on. Thank God that I did, because you died early the next morning, and the Pastor received my email from the night prior and called me. I NEEDED IT, I NEEDED PRAYER!!!!
Da, I called your sister Aunt Shirley and during our conversation she made a very good point. Aunt Shirley stated that you knew what time to go home to be with God, because with this Coronavirus you were type of person who hugged and kissed EVERYONE. So, social distancing, wearing a mask (could possibly mess up your hair) would have been very hard for you.
Da, I want you to know that my faith in God remains strong. I understand the life cycle, but Da in my mind that didn’t apply to you. Man, I am going to miss you. I have done many things in my life, but NONE have been as hard as this was and is going to be. Da, I love you, I miss you, I will see you again. I know that you are so happy singing, hugging and kissing Jesus. Da, please leave Jesus’s hair alone!!!! Everyone knows, to include to the Lord how you are about hair. I love you Da.
Your loving son,
Norman leaves to mourn his death: wife, Delores Bailey of Lexington Park, Maryland, daughter Desiree Bailey of Waldorf, son Troy Bailey Sr. of Columbia, Md., grandson Troy Bailey Jr. of Hanford, California; sisters Shirley Blount of Hampton, Virginia, Lorraine Womack of Lexington Park, Maryland, Brothers in law; Avon Dyson of Hyattsville, Maryland, Bruce Dyson of Florida (Martha), John Taylor (Lois) of Park Hall, Maryland, James Taylor of Mechanicsville; sisters in law: Rosalee Holley (Richard – deceased) of Lexington Park, Maryland, Annie Sims (Richard) of Lexington Park, Maryland, Marlee Francis (Fabian) of Massachusetts, Eloise Dyson (Frank) of Park Hall, Maryland, Austine Somerville (Robert – deceased) of Park Hall, Maryland, and Jackie Davis of Lexington Park, Maryland.
The family would be remiss for not mentioning two surrogate brothers, William Jackson of Mechanicsville, Maryland and Francis Jackson of Maryland. Both brothers became friends with Norman upon his arrival to St. Mary’s County. They actually lived with Norman’s family for a period of time, so they grew up as brothers. Their brotherly relationship continued into adulthood, as they maintained contact with Norman through visits and phone calls. They called Norman daily and that spirit continued until his death. Both called to speak with him and when Norman could no longer speak, they still called to check on his status. The family would also like to mention Iva Micheau. Norman and Iva’s relationship developed in high school. Iva would always call Norman, send him birthday, Christmas and Get-Well cards. Norman leaves behind host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
In addition, Norman was preceded in death by two brothers: Wilbur Bailey (Sandra) and Milton Bailey Sr., one sister Velma Bailey Rothwell, and one great-granddaughter Ayana Bailey.
We understand that many family members, friends and coworkers, could not come to pay their respects to Norman during these times of the Coronavirus. We agree with you that Norman deserves a much larger than life celebration; Norman did many things and touched many lives, so we know that you ALL wanted to be here, to show your support and pay your respect. However, lest not forget, God is in control of ALL. So, we have to respect God’s decision to call Norman home during this time period of our earthly lives. Most of all, this not about us here on earth, this is about Norman’s journey home to be with God. On behalf of Norman, we would also like to thank his Pax River and Church Families.