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Van Donald Bailey

October 15, 1941 ~ November 23, 2021 (age 80)

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Van Donald Bailey, 80, passed away on November 23, 2021 at Memorial Stone County Nursing and Rehab in Wiggins, MS. Van was born on October 15, 1941 in Beaufort, SC, one of three children and son of Benjamin Franklin and Mary Elizabeth (Smith) Bailey. He grew up in the Beaufort area in South Carolina while his father worked as a foreman in construction. He attended Beaufort High School, graduating with the Class of 1958. While there Van won some awards for his writing skills, which he was very proud of. Van volunteered for the US Army after graduation, serving three tours in Vietnam as an Army Ranger. Each tour he endured a helicopter crash, with the final one being the worse. He achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class in the Army, receiving three (3) Army Commendation Medals, three (3) Purple Hearts, two (2) Bronze Stars and one Silver Star during his military service. After his discharge, Van worked for the US Postal Service in Charleston, SC for many years. He went back to school, earning a Master's Degree in Business with a minor in Theology, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Suma Cum Laude in the process. He was a highly organized and determined type man that enjoyed hunting and fishing. For fun, Van took diving lessons and became a certified scuba diver, visiting the Florida Keys as often as he could. He also enjoyed Black Jack and was an expert at counting cards, so good that many casinos had banned him from playing. Van was a wonderful, loving husband and father who loved his family very much. He will definitelt be fondly remembered and sadly missed by all who knew him. He was preceded by Mary Smith (Mother), Benjamin Bailey (Father), with two brothers, Joseph and Frank Bailey. Left to cherish his memories are: his devoted wife of over 60 years, Yong Ja Bailey (Song); daughters Catherine (Anthony) Miloni of Honolulu, HI and Agnes (Wes) White of Summerville, SC, sons James Bailey of Diamondhead, MS, Levi Bailey of Hilo, HI; and one sister, Rose Cales of Augusta, GA. He leaves a legacy of six grandchildren: Hannah (Devin) Culberson, twins Kimberly and Brittney Scott, Lee Bailey, Karissa Bailey and Hunter Bailey, with one great-grand, Vanessa Culberson, nephews Ronnie Cales & Frank and Lewis Bailey, along with several extended family and friends. A memorial service will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in James Island, SC at 1:30 PM on December 7, 2021. Van will be laid to rest at a later date in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, better known as "the Punchbowl". Trinity Funeral Services is honored to serve the Bailey family in their time of need, asking everyone to keep them lifted up in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

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Graveside Service
December 7, 2021

1:30 PM
Holy Cross Cemetery (James Island)
604 Fort Johnson Road
James Island, SC 29412
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