September 19, 1931 ~ June 17, 2022
Virginia Lea Bailey, age 90, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri passed away on Friday, June 17, 2022 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Virginia was born September 19, 1931 in Climax Springs, MO to George and Anna Patton. She was the oldest in a large family with 6 brothers and sisters – Al, Earl, Russ, Mary, Ann, and Murreil. As the oldest she would often help take care of the other kids as well as to help out on the farm where they all grew up.
Virginia and Elmer were high school classmates until one day after church Elmer planned to escort another girl home when Virginia interceded and asked Elmer to take her home instead. They dated for eight months before getting married on February 24, 1950 and began their journey together in Lee’s Summit where they would raise their two sons Russell and Daniel.
After beginning their family, she worked at John Knox serving the community there. When Pfizer opened in Kansas City she moved from nursing into the lab as a tech where she helped with sampling. While working there, Pfizer supported her desire to return to school. Virginia attended Longview Community College and received her Associate s Arts Degree.
During her time in Lee’s Summit, she was very active in the community. A devoted member of Lee’s Summit Christian Church – Disciples of Christ – Virginia was often considered the heart of the church. She was often there to greet visitors and help new members to be involved. She always made sure communion was prepared and would help clean up afterwards. Often you would catch her serving the early service and attending mid-morning. Also an active member of Hannah Circle of Women’s Ministries, Virginia was always there to help with the yearly garage sales which raised money to support local charities.
If there were volunteers involved, she would always be the one in the kitchen cooking up a delicious lunch for everyone. That compassion eventually led to the first Compassionate Meal program in the church which would deliver meals to any members who were ill, in the hospital, or experienced a death in the family. She led the Funeral Dinner program as well, hosting any family following a service.
She served on the Board of Women’s Ministries for several years – truly a loving example for all. Virginia also found time to garden, and loved traveling. She enjoyed investing in properties and would rehab them so that those in need would have a nice place to live.
She retired after 17 years of service and continued to be involved in her community – so much so that she and Elmer were recognized by the Mayor on their 50th Wedding Anniversary as good friends of the city. Recognized several times for her efforts in the community, she was known not only for all of the work she did through the church but what she did for the city as well.
Founder of the Literacy Council of Lee’s Summit through Lee’s Summit Social Services, she worked tirelessly to complete literacy training, locate volunteers, and help for committees in order to bring reading skills to people in the community. She was quoted in the Lee’s Summit Journal, “I feel very strongly that we must in this country break the cycle and allow these people to become independent”. She inspired so many through this work and saw the agency grow alongside her other endeavors which included budget counseling, the Hunger Task Force, and the annual weatherization program for seniors. Virginia even served in city government working on bond issues and several committees including the ad hoc cemetery committee.
She was preceded in death by her husband Elmer Bailey and son Russell Bailey as well as her brothers Albert and Earl Patton.
She is survived by her sisters Ann Dean, Murriel Taylor, Mary Gumm, brother Russ Patton, son Daniel Bailey, and Grandson Kevin Bailey.
Virginia was loved by many and will be greatly missed by her family, her friends, and her community.
A visitation for Virginia will be held Friday, July 15, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM at Newcomer’s Floral Hills Funeral Home, 7000 Blue Ridge Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64133. The funeral service will begin at 10:00 AM with a graveside committal to follow at Floral Hills East Memorial Gardens at 25203 E US Hwy 50, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086.