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Vernon Edward Bailey

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Vernon Edward, Sergeant Major, USMC (Ret), died of complications from cardiac surgery on June 25, 2004. Sgt. Maj. Bailey was born March 1, 1919, in Brent, Alabama, the oldest of twelve children. As a member of 'the Greatest Generation,' he served his country proudly as a United States Marine in the South Pacific during WWII; in China during the post war period; in Korea during the Korean War; and in Vietnam, where he was stationed at DaNang. After thirty years in the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Bailey, retired to Oklahoma, where he graduated from college and worked on a master's degree. Though a combat veteran and everything that being a Marine Sergeant Major implies, he always found space in his heart and his life for small children and stray animals. He enjoyed traveling in various motor homes, visiting family and revisiting some of the places he had been while in the CCC during the 1930's. He was devoted to Southpark Baptist Church, where he was recently recognized as a Founding Member on its 25th anniversary, and to the Abraham Men's Sunday School class he taught for many years. He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Marjorie; and by his daughters Brenda, of Norman, and Sandra, of Nantucket, MA; by Sandra's husband Marshall; by his granddaughter, Emily Keys Innes of Milton, MA, and her husband Ewan; and by his grandson David Marshall Keys, of Minneapolis, MN, and his wife Caroline; as well as by his sisters Lucille Lee, Eunice Cardinal, Jean Bailey, and Thelma Guy, and their husbands; and by his brother Arval Bailey and his wife. Visiting hours at the Vondel L. Smith & Son Mortuary, 6934 S. Western on Monday and Tuesday. Funeral at Southpark Baptist Church, 2900 SW 119, Oklahoma City, on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Southpark Baptist Church.
Published in The Oklahoman on June 29, 2004
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