Dora Helen Bailey Baldwin HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -
Dora Helen Bailey Baldwin, 79, formerly of Leckie and Bluefield, died Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004, in Hollywood, Fla., following a long period of declining health. Born at Windmill Gap, on Oct. 4, 1925, to Grover Cleveland and Mabel O'Brien Bailey, Dora Helen was the 10th of 17 children and the fourth daughter. The symmetry between her birthdate, 10/4, and her birth order, 10th child/4th daughter, both pleased and amused her. She was a graduate of McComas High School, earned her undergraduate degree in education from Concord College in Athens, and her Master's from West Virginia University in Morgantown. She firmly believed she was born to be a teacher and could never imagine herself doing anything else. She began teaching on an emergency teaching certificate at the age of 19, in a one-room school at Little Creek, where some of her students were nearly her own age and many were much larger than she. From Little Creek, she went to Anawalt Jr. High School, where she spent the rest of her 38-year career in the McDowell County School System. A reading specialist, she taught home-bound students and adult literacy classes, in addition to her regular students. She devoted one summer to tutoring underprivileged children in Philadelphia. Over the years, she taught literally thousands of children and adults to read and to love poetry and literature. After her retirement, she tutored hospitalized children and speakers of other languages, as a volunteer, and worked as a paralegal assistant in her son-in-law David's law office. She also volunteered as a hearing clerk in her daughter Sue's office scheduling and coordinating tax appeals hearings. Even more than she loved teaching, Dora loved her extended family. She was the family genealogist and historian, collecting and passing on stories and pictures. She compiled and published a family history in 1993. She was the driving force behind Our House, the Bailey family website, which has helped keep our far-flung family close over the past five years. During her final illness, she enjoyed viewing a treasure trove of old photographs unearthed, scanned and posted to the website by cousin Boo. She never faltered in her love for her siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins and was interested in their activities up to the last day of her life. Formerly a member of Prosperity Methodist Church, Windmill Gap, and Boyd's Chapel Methodist Church, Leckie, Dora belonged to Trinity Methodist Church in Bluefield. In Florida, she attended St. James Episcopal Church in Hollywood, with her daughter. Dora was predeceased by her parents, Grover Cleveland and Mabel O'Brien Bailey; husband, Vernie Baldwin; sisters, Frances Bailey and Mamie Bailey Taylor; brothers, Leonard Bailey, Bernard Bailey, Delmar Bailey, Clinton Bailey and David Bailey. Her beloved cats, Stuffy, Sam and Fritz, and special dogs, Harry Houdini and BucaMarie, also predeceased her. She is survived by daughter, Sue Baldwin and son-in-law, David McLauchlin, of 4011 Thomas Street, Hollywood, Florida 33021, with whom she made her home; surrogate daughter, Marilyn King, of Hollywood, Florida, grandchildren, David McLauchlin Jr. and wife Jamie of Riverview, Fla., and Beth McLauchlin Johnson of Woodstock, Ga.; great-grandchildren, Devin Brown McLauchlin and Megan Elizabeth Lee Johnson; sisters, Zelma Bailey Settle of Rich Creek, Va., Bonnie Bailey Hodge, of Rocky Gap, Va., Bridget Bailey Morrow of Fredericksburg, Va., Patricia Bailey Sadtler of Seminole, Fla.; brothers, William Bailey and wife, Lucy, of Palatka, Fla., U.G. Bailey of Roanoke, Va., Raymond Bailey of Mansfield Center, Conn., Marvin Bailey and wife, Annette, of Ward, Ark., and Kenneth Bailey and wife, Betty, of Casa Grande, Ariz.; one aunt, Mamie O'Brien Cooper, of Glenwood Park Nursing Home; too many much-loved nieces, nephews and cousins to mention individually; and her cherished and special caregiver, Doris Anderson, her husband, Leo Deacon, son, Leo, Jr. and niece, Tameka O'Gilvie. Also surviving are her beloved animal companions, Casey Patrick and Kioshi Omega, Keeshond dogs, and Buttercup and Babycakes, cats. Friends and family may call at Cravens-Shires Funeral Home in Bluewell on Friday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Graveside services will be conducted on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 11 a.m. at Prosperity Cemetery, Windmill Gap, the Reverend Jim Stanley officiating. Directions to the cemetery will be available at Cravens-Shires.