Most of all beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and
hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers, sisters, aunts,
and cousins, but we only had one beautiful mother in the world. Our memories
of our mother are like exquisite treasures, which we will hold in our hearts as
long as we live. We would like to share with you the obituary and memories of
our loving mother and grandmother, Altia Deel Bailey.
Altia was the third of eleven children born to Marion and Isabelle Boyd Deel on
the fourth day of November, 1914, in Buchanan County, Virginia. She was
called home to paradise on the twenty-fourth day of December, 2002.
Altia married Elder Evans Bailey on the twenty-first day of June in 1932 and
from this union was born six sons and five daughters: Johnny, Willoughby,
Hanford, Everette, Arnold, Mable, Pansy, Pearly, Leo, Donna and Connie.
She was preceded in death by her husband of sixty years who passed away
October 3, 1992; two sons, Willoughby and Hanford; one granddaughter,
Jennessell; three sisters, Phoebe, Lucy, and Nannie; and five brothers, Hollie,
Vady, Tolby, Thurman, and Troy. She is survived by five daughters, Mable
Gibbs of Hurley, Virginia, Pansy Hawkins and Pearly Marie Baker, both of
Vansant, Virginia, Donna Jean Turpin of Pikeville, Kentucky, Connie Lou
McClanahan of Grundy, Virginia; four sons, Johnny, Everette, Leo, and Arnold
Bailey, all of Vansant, Virginia; two sisters, Gertrude Deel and Trula Dee, both
of Vansant, Virginia; nineteen grandchildren; and thirteen great grandchildren.
All through our mother’s life we found her to be strong, true, and generous; to
give without expectation of return; to practice humility; to make the best use of
time and opportunity; to keep her mind pure and prayerful; to extend sympathy
and caring to those in distress; to seek truth and righteousness; to work, pray,
and serve daily; to aspire greatly; labor cheerfully; and to take God at his
word. This she did in her travel heavenward.
Our Mother became a member of the Pilgrim’s Home Church at Prater,
Virginia, in 1947. She has recounted her experience of salvation to us many
times. The Lord had shown her in a dream what her heavenly inheritance
would be like. She told of seeing a piece of land in Heaven which was green,
peaceful, and beautiful. Our Mother and Father were instrumental in founding
and supporting the Pilgrim’s Home Church. This support and caring has
extended almost 57 years. For all these years they walked by faith and stood
on the word.
Our Mother and Father were Christians who taught the importance of living a
Christian life. Several of the children and grandchildren have become
Christians, which gave them immense happiness and satisfaction during their
In her final years, our mother had a great deal of sickness but her faith and
commitment to the Lord never wavered. She was a great believer in prayer
and the Lord’s ability to answer. Mom enjoyed going to church as often as her
health would allow. She loved to hear praying, singing, and preaching. These
were songs she would sing to and with us right up until the end of her days.
We remember as children, everyone going to church together and our mother
fixing big meals after church services. She took care of all eleven of her
children, gardened, canned, and helped run a family owned grocery store. Our
remarkable Christian mother worked very hard and always warmly welcomed
preachers and church member to her home over many years.
A few days before our mother died, her son, Leo, said he dreamed of seeing
our mother’s passing away. He described it as seeing her soul rise from her
body and go straight up to Heaven into God’s waiting arms, and we believe
God’s words for our mother were, “Well done and welcome home, my good
and faithful servant.”
So even though losing you is still heartbreaking and unbearable for us, we
know, Mommy, you are waiting for us in glory with God. Waiting with our dad
and other family members who have passed on, but we know in our hearts,
someday there will be a heavenly reunion for all God’s children. We will see
you there our dear precious, and loving mother.
Written by her children