Mrs. Mamie Loretta Bailey West, daughter of the late Melvin H. Bailey and Mary Magdalene Scott Bailey, was born April 15, 1939, in Petersburg, Va. She departed this life on Sunday, May 11, 2014, at St. Francis Medical Center, Midlothian, Va., after a lengthy illness.
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Mamie was educated in the public schools of both Petersburg and Ettrick, Va., attending Virginia Avenue and Matoaca Elementary on the campus of Virginia State College (University). She graduated from George Washington Carver High School in Chesterfield, Va.
Accepting Jesus as her Lord and Savior, Mamie was baptized at Rocky Branch Baptist Church in Dinwiddie, Va., at the age of 12. After she was extended "the right hand of fellowship," Mamie joined the Historic First Baptist Church Centralia. For many years she served as an usher and enjoyed attending special events and activities affiliated with First Baptist Church Centralia.
Mamie entered into holy matrimony with the late Russell Philip West Sr. on Dec. 23, 1955. They were married for 45 years until God called, Philip home on July 24, 2001. From this union four beautiful and loving children were born.
After 28 years, Mamie retired from her employment at Reynolds Metal Co. (ALCOA), in Richmond, Va. as a sorter/stacker, she met many lifelong friends, Nancy Pride, Luvenia Cunnings and Gracie Caple. She was also employed with the Department of Transportation for Chesterfield County Public Schools, for five years. As a member of the Bellwood Printing Pressman Union, Local 670, Mamie championed equal work and pay for women in the work force, often times encouraging other to "stand up" for their rights.
Mamie was most comfortable at home with her family. She was a "hands-on mom" guiding and directing her children. She would say to her children, "I want your life to be better than mine." She took pleasure in ensuring that her appearance and attire was neat, clean and impeccable. She enjoyed making her home and its surroundings beautiful by decorating and remodeling.
Mamie took classes in sewing. She loved to garden, and she had a special interest in learning to operate computers. Mamie was a good neighbor who was private in her day-to-day life. She was a family-oriented protector. She was a good friend and neighbor who will be missed by Rose and Edward Trent.
Mamie was close to her only brother, Eddie A. Bailey, being the younger of them. She would reflect on how she would defend him against battles when they were children. He would ultimately come to her aid by visiting with her and sharing his love and concern throughout her illness.
No doubt, Christmas was her favorite holiday. Mom made Christmas special for her family not just by illuminating lights, but by taking it to another level. Her smile would bring light to any room.
She will be greatly missed by her loved ones and friends, for God knew she was suffering, and those hills became so hard to climb — so he closed those weary eyelids and whispered, "Peace Be Thine."
Mamie leaves to cherish memory, her children, Russell P. West Jr., Yolanda West Baker (John), Barry L. West (Katie) and Letrista L. West; grandchildren, Jovan, Deiondra (Derek), Brittany, Barry Jr., Stephen, Courtney, Lastacia, Niyah, LaToya and Marquell; great-grandchildren, Omari, Derek Jr., Jovan Jr., Darius and Aaliyah; sisters-in-law, Dorothy West, Adell West and Minnie Bailey; and host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Service for Mrs. Mamie L. West will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, May 15, 2013, at First Baptist Church Centralia, 2920 Kingsdale Road, North Chesterfield, Va.; the Rev. Dr. Wilson E. Shannon, pastor, eulogist. The family will receive friends at 4201 Curtis St., Chester, Va.
Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Mrs. West at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, Va., 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
Published in The Progress-Index from May 12 to May 14, 2014