Lula Wyatt Wilkinson Bailey, 93, died Thursday, March 12, 2015 at her home in Rocky Mount, NC after a long illness. Her daughter Shannon was by her side. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years Millard Thomas Bailey.
Wyatt Bailey was born in Rocky Mount, NC on May 4, 1921, the eldest of three daughters in the family of Lula Daughtridge Wilkinson and William Stronach Wilkinson. She graduated from Salem College in 1942 with a B.A. degree in English and History. Wyatt taught English, history, and social studies at Rocky Mount High School before her marriage to Millard in 1945. Thereafter, Wyatt devoted herself to her family, caring for her mother and father, her sisters Nan and Mary, her children and her husband, and also her grandchildren. It was not uncommon for her to be called a “second Mother” by family and non-family members alike. Wyatt was extraordinarily generous. She loved with a purity of heart and a true servant’s spirit.
Wyatt was an accomplished woman in many respects. Ironically, she was the last person to acknowledge her gifts. Wyatt was an excellent writer and speaker, a fine seamstress and cook, an avid traveler, and a life-long student of literature and the arts. Most of all, Wyatt excelled as an interpreter of the seasons of the Christian year, especially Advent. For many years the members of the William Whitehead Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church enjoyed Wyatt’s teaching each Sunday in the Advent season.
Wyatt was a woman of profound faith whose intercessory prayers filled her days and nights, especially in the latter years of her life. Wyatt ministered to everyone she met. Her life is her legacy.
Wyatt and Millard were a devoted couple who delighted in each other. Over the years, they spent many pleasant times at their “other” home in Pine Knoll Shores, NC, especially when accompanied by their grandchildren for whom the “beach house” was a second home.
Wyatt is survived by her son Millard Thomas “Tom” Bailey, Jr. (wife Susan), and her daughter Shannon Bailey-Bloodworth (husband Robert). She leaves behind her three grandchildren by son Tom and late daughter-in-law Beverly Reams: Millard Thomas Bailey, III, Kristin B. DeMello (husband Chris), and Whitney B. Leonard (husband Neil), as well as her great-grandson Griffin Reese DeMello.
Wyatt was preceded in death by her sister Nan W. Price of Greensboro, NC. Her sister Mary Covington survives her and lives in Charlotte, NC. Wyatt’s life is a wonderful model for the many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews who honor her memory.
The family would like to offer their gratitude to Wyatt’s faithful caregivers of many years: Linda W. Lewis, Betty Jean Dunlap, Emma Jenkins, and Kisha Cutler.
The family will receive visitors at Wheeler & Woodlief Funeral Home on Sunday, March 15, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wyatt’s family and friends are invited to join her, as she wished, for a last worship service at First United Methodist Church in Rocky Mount at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2015. A service of burial will follow at Pine View Cemetery.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to First United Methodist Church or to the Salvation Army.
Condolences may be sent to www.wheelerwoodlief.com or to Shannon Bailey-Bloodworth’s home at 271 Southland Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28311.
Arrangements by Wheeler& Woodlief Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 1130 N. Winstead Avenue, Rocky Mount, NC. You may share your memories and condolences with the family by visiting www.wheeler woodlief.com