Mary Juanita “Nita” Bailey

BOONEVILLE – Mary Juanita Bailey, 96, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. She was born Aug. 4, 1916, in Booneville. Affectionately known as Nee Nee to her family and friends, she was our “angel on earth.” She gave her life serving the Lord with a spirit of love that will never be forgotten. Though she never had children of her own, like a mama bird that takes her babies under her wing, her motherly love extended to all her nieces, nephews and grands.

The world was made a better and kinder place because God blessed us with her presence. We will forever adore our Nee Nee carrying forth in her honor a spirit of love and kindness, imitating her as she imitated her Lord in obedience to Ephesians 5:1-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Nee Nee was a faithful, dedicated member of the Booneville Church of Christ all her adult life. She lived a life of worship, serving wherever there was a need. Her lovely voice in song was admired for many years. In the early years of the congregation, she especially delighted in teaching Sunday School.

After graduating from Booneville High School in 1935, she attended Grenada College. Upon graduation from college, she worked for several years as a secretary, later marrying her childhood sweetheart, John H. Bailey of Artesia. Nita and John enjoyed more that 30 years of companionship.

For more than 40 years Nee Nee was employed at Gray’s Dept. Store in Booneville, working in the ladies’ department while John worked in the men’s. Her customers loved her sweet smile and her exceptional ability to tastefully help them create their own personal sense of style. Her beautifully showcased windows at Christmas time won numerous awards over the years for creativity, style and design.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at the Booneville Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be in Booneville Cemetery.

Nita was preceded in death by her husband; her parents, John Taylor and Ruby Hamilton Lee; brothers, Col. John Gettys Lee and Will Taylor Lee; sister, Catherine Lee Morton.

She is survived by nephews, Billy (Martha Wayne) Morton of Catherine, Ala., and John (Maribeth) Lee of Algonquin, Ill.; nieces, La Juan (Hale) Aust, Catherine Ann (Robert) Guin and Sue (James Earl) Scott, all of Booneville, and Carolyn (Roy) Boren of St. Louis, Mo.; sister-in-law, Jenny Lee of Mt. Vernon, Ill.; great nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces and nephews, and a multitude of friends.

In lieu of flowers, because of Nee Nee’s sincere love for children, the family requests donations to Pine Vale Children’s Home, 1872A CR 700, Corinth, MS 38834.

Visitation will be from 5 until 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.