Mrs. Thelma Lee Bailey, age 100, of Franklin, Tennessee; formerly a resident of Enterprise, Alabama, passed away Friday, March 12, 2021.
Drive-through viewing will be Wednesday, March 17, 2021 4-6 PM at the funeral home and one hour prior the service on March 18, 2021; Graveside service will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 11 AM at Johns Chapel A.M.E. Church Cemetery, 605 Geneva Highway Enterprise, Alabama 36330.
Mrs. Thelma Lee Bailey, the oldest of two children of the late Eddie Lee and Jessie Lee Wilkerson, was born June 18, 1920 in Dale County, Alabama. She was baptized at an early age at the Union Grove Baptist Church. Growing up in the Union Grove Baptist Church, she never forgot where she came from and continued throughout her adult life to love and support her Union Grove family.
After uniting in holy matrimony to her late husband, Ed Bailey, Jr., she joined the Johns Chapel A.M.E. Church. She was a woman of faith, dedicated member and Stewardess emeritus, serving on the stewardess board number 1 for 55 years with 25 of those years serving as secretary of the board. She enjoyed working with the Young People Department (YPD) and took pride in her church while helping with the enhancement of the interior and exterior portions of the church.
She lived a humble and simple life. In her leisure time she enjoyed gardening, sewing, needlepointing and being a successful Vanda cosmetic salesperson for 15 years. She was a philanthropist at heart, always helping those less fortunate and enjoying patronizing the smaller businesses in town. She took care of her family, always making her out of town family members feel special when they came for a surprise visit and she would not sit down to eat until all of the family was served. She was a devoted wife for 60 years, taking care of her husband as he endured blindness during the last 22 years of his life. She enjoyed helping her Methodist side community and was awarded the MLK Drum Major for Justice award for her work within her community.
Not having a chance to go to college herself, she valued the importance of getting a higher education and welcomed the opportunity to held others achieve this goal. During her lifetime, she helped many young people achieve their goal of becoming a college graduate. The last 16 years of her life, she was blessed to be cared for at home with her granddaughter, Thelma Felicia and daughter, Emma Jean in Franklin, Tennessee. While living in Franklin, Tennessee, she was thankful for the fellowship and communion she often received from the Limestone Missionary Baptist Church family. While she may have been physically in Tennessee, her mind and heart never left her beloved Enterprise and "the Chapel".
She was preceded in death by her husband: Ed Bailey, Jr.; her sons: William Bailey and John Henry Wilkerson; and her brother: James Wilkerson.
She leaves, to cherish her memories, a very devoted daughter: Emma Bailey of Franklin, Tennessee; six grandchildren including a very devoted granddaughter: Thelma Felicia (Eric) Osborne of Franklin, Tennessee, Agnes Berry of Atlanta, Georgia, William (Kenyatta) Bailey, Jr. of Norfolk, Virginia, Daryl Bailey of Atlanta, Georgia, John David Wilkerson of South Carolina, and RayShawn Wilkerson of Brooklyn, New York; several great grandchildren including a devoted great granddaughter: Emily McKenzie of Franklin, Tennessee; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
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