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Lester Bailey, Jr.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Mr. Lester Bailey, Jr., age 76 Erwin, TN, passed away on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 after a long battle with cancer. He was born on Nov. 7, 1937; a native of Unicoi County and lived in Erwin most of his life. Mr. Bailey was a son of the late Lester and Lola Johnson Bailey. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Lowell E. Bailey.

Survivors include his lovely wife of 56 years, Jean D. Bailey; brother, Elden Bailey and wife, Beth of Kingsport; special sister-in-law, Beverly Bailey Britt of Erwin; sons James L. Bailey of Erwin, Charles E. Bailey and wife Ellen, of Elizabethton; and Keith D. Bailey and wife, Kim of Jonesborough; granddaughter, Ashley N. Bailey; grandsons, Brandon Bailey, Bradley Bailey, and Connor Bailey. Several Nieces and Nephews also survive. He was a devoted husband and father who loved his family very much. Mr. Bailey was an active member of First Baptist Church in Erwin since 1959 where he served as Deacon and Trustee. He served as interim music director on three occasions. He also served as chairman of the Pastor Search Committee on three occasions; he sang in the church choir and told the children’s story for many years. In addition, he was chairman of the Property and Structure team where he was instrumental in numerous improvements to the church including the renovation of the old Sanctuary. Mr. Bailey loved serving and working for the Lord.

Mr. Bailey was a graduate of Unicoi County High School and had a Bachelors Degree from East Tennessee State University. He honorably served four years in the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Bailey’s working career included Industrial Relations Manager and Security Officer for Nuclear Fuel Services. He retired in 2000 as corporate manager of Human Resources after thirty nine years with Hoover Precision Products.

Mr. Bailey was also active in city Government where he served as Alderman and Vice Mayor; served on the Hospital Board, the Economic Development Board, the Animal Control Board and the State Board of Rehabilitation in Carter County.

The funeral services for Mr. Bailey will be conducted at 3:00 PM on Saturday, March 1, 2014 from First Baptist Church with the Reverend Macil Duncan officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service starting at 12:00 PM until service time at First Baptist. Active pallbearers will be Ira Lemmon, Bob Kegley, Donnie Slagle, Corey Jones, Dr. Jack Williams, Ray White, Paul Farnor, and Carl Ramsey. Honorary pallbearers will be Virgil Moore, Bill Padgett, Lynn Erwin, Rob Stromberg, Ernest Snyder, Carl Engle, Glen Jones, Jerry Peterson, Larry Norris, and John Corn. Graveside services will be held immediately following the funeral at Evergreen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First Baptist Church Building Fund or Sound System, 200 Love Street, Erwin, TN 37650.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family through our website at These arrangements are made especially for the family and friends of Lester Bailey, Jr. through Valley Funeral Home, 1085 N. Main Ave., Erwin, TN, 423-743-9187.