Lionel Bailey, loving son of the late Waymon Holmes and Ertha Faison Hopkins, was born March 27, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. He departed this life on Monday, May 4, 2020 in Silver Spring, Maryland.
As a young child, Lionel and his mother moved to York, Pennsylvania to reside with his grandparents, Tillman and Mattie Bailey. Lionel was baptized at an early age at the Wheatfield Church of the Living God, where his grandmother was the founder. He recommitted his life to God at York’s Shiloh Baptist Church under the officiation of Rev. Dr. William Curtis. It was here in York that he attended public schools. He was proud to have been a member of the William Penn High School varsity basketball team—the 1958 Inter-District Champions. After graduating high school, Lionel enlisted in the United States Army/82nd Airborne Division and served as a paratrooper and military police officer until his honorable discharge in 1962.
During the mid-1960’s and early 1970’s, Lionel’s passion and calling was centered on grassroots organization and activism to fight for racial justice and equality in the York area. Employed at the Community Progress Council as director of community programs, he was also a founding member of area’s Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Black United Movement (BUM). He was instrumental in convening the York Charrette in 1970, which was a series of intensive planning sessions to explore and implement solutions to reduce racial tensions and promote community empowerment through collaboration.
In the late-seventies, Lionel moved to Maryland to be with his family. He was a master salesman, who excelled as a Bloomingdale associate in the men’s designer clothes department for many years. He later went on to become a top automotive sales representative.
Lionel was supported and is survived by his best friend of 58 years, Dorothy of Temple Hills, MD; his son, Neil Martin (Joyce) of Charlotte, NC; his devoted daughter, Robbin Brittingham (Denny) of Bowie, MD; and son, Bart Maulana Bailey (Janine) of Macungie, PA. He was a hands-on, doting grandfather to Michael B., Kalil, Zakiyyah, and Ivan, who lived near him and cherished his grandchildren, Ayesha Martin, Michael Wright, and Aaron Martin, and his six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Beverly Bailey and grandson Denny.
A celebration of life memorial will be planned for later this year.
Condolences for the family may be expressed on the above Tribute Wall for Lionel.
The family suggests donations be made to The Prince George’s Truth Branch/ASALH (The Association for the Study of African American Life and History); P.O. Box 1104, Temple Hills, MD 20757.
A LIFE WELL LIVED
A life well lived is a precious gift,
of hope and strength and grace,
from someone who has made our world
a brighter, better place.
It's filled with moments, sweet and sad
with smiles and sometimes tears,
with friendships formed and good times shared,
and laughter through the years.
A life well lived is a legacy,
of joy and pride and pleasure,
a living, lasting memory
our grateful heart's will treasure.
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