It Takes a Family to Comfort a Family
Anna “Polly” Justice Bailey
Anna “Polly” Justice Bailey, 95, died Monday, November 30, 2020.
Polly was born in Clyde, North Carolina on February 12, 1925. Her parents were Virgil Hurst
and Lyda Justice. She had two younger sisters, Louise and Maxine, an older brother, Virgil Hurst, Jr., and two younger brothers, Earl and Charles. She put her faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord when she was 11 years old. She was a 1942 graduate of Clyde High School. She was loved by all of her classmates and was known as the champion dressmaker in Home Ec. One close friend wrote in Polly’s ninth-grade autograph book that Polly lived her life in a way that honored Jesus Christ.
She moved with her family to Newport News. After graduating from business college, she worked for the Bank of Hampton Roads and later in secretarial positions at NASA from which she retired. She married Donald Knight Bailey in July 1948. They were truly in love and inseparable all of their 60-year marriage. They had a son, Tom Bailey of Newport News.
Her husband, Don, was born in Newport News and was a 1938 graduate of Newport News High School and then the Shipyard Apprentice School. Don graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA degree in history. He was a U.S. Army Veteran, who served in the Philippines toward the end of WWII. Don retired from Sears & Roebuck in 1985, after 33 years of service, receiving top salesman awards.
Don and Polly joined Temple Baptist in 1951 and served faithfully in various ways. Don was a Sunday School teacher and department director, deacon chairman, and head usher. Polly taught Sunday School to preteen girls for a while, served on a pastor search committee, participated in the Women’s Missionary Union, and various leadership positions. Don and Polly always supported their pastors, church staff, and fellow church members. They and the church members lived a committed Christian life that influenced their son Tom to receive Jesus as his Savior, too, at almost eight years old. Don and Polly also served in the Gideons International, helping to distribute Bibles. They took their son with them on a trip to Israel led by Dr. J. Walter Martin, Pastor of Temple Baptist Church in July 1969.
Later in life, her son found out that Mom was secretly helping friends and people in need with gifts of food and other “behind the scenes” acts of service and hospitality (See Matthew 6:1-4). This made him love and appreciate her even more. She was known as an excellent cook, especially for her homemade pound cakes. Mom served in other community organizations, sometimes in leadership. Her son Tom was close to her and appreciated getting to know her many friends who loved and respected her. In her family, she sought to bless her husband and son before her needs were met. Don and Polly were always supportive and proud of their son as he attended college and seminary, served in various ministries, and worked in education and real estate.Don died in 2008. While Mom was a widow for 12 years, her son Tom stayed with her and made sure she lived well. Tom says, “When you honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16), you can be the best of friends and enjoy each other’s company. When she could no longer drive, he took her everywhere with him. She enjoyed not being alone and having an adventurous life with her friends and his.”
“Recently it became Mom’s time to go to heaven. She slowed down and needed in-home hospice. My wife and I took care of her those last few weeks and spent much time praying, reading the Bible, and singing hymns to her. She heard us. I was with her as she quietly transitioned to her ‘abundant entrance’ into heaven (I Peter 1:11). I will never be the same because she knew Jesus, and Jesus had known her as His faithful follower for a long time.
For a follower of Jesus, the moment of death is ‘to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 5:8).”
Polly, on her and Don’s sides of the family, is survived by many nephews, nieces, their families, and other relatives. When Tom married Sue in May 2018, Polly became an instant grandmother and great-grandmother to Sue’s six children and all of her many grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at Temple Baptist Church in Newport News on Saturday, December 19. There will be a sacred concert 1:00-1:30 pm, with funeral service starting at 1:30 pm, and a brief graveside service at Peninsula Memorial Park at 3:00 pm. (COVID guidelines will be followed including facial masks and social distancing. We plan on video taping all of these related events, which we are working on presenting live or later on Face Book.)
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Temple Baptist Church or The Gideons International. Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.