Deacon Cleveland Bailey, Sr., affectionately known as “Rockjaw” departed his life on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 3:30 am. God dispatched His Heavenly angels to take His servant home, whispering, “well done My good and faithful servant”.
Deacon Bailey was born on Tuesday, April 26, 1927 in Jackson County, Florida to the late Equillar Brown Bailey and the late Abraham Pittman. At a very early age he and his mother moved to Port St. Joe, where he was reared by the late Jeff Bailey.
He was converted at an early age, he joined New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church where he served as Sr. Deacon until his health declined.
“Rockjaw” was known as a “jack of all trades”. After completing an eight hour shift at the Saint Joe Paper Company where he retired in 1992, he could often be found remodeling homes or providing plumbing services throughout the North Port St. Joe community. He taught those skills, not only to his sons, but to other young men throughout the community. Circumstances forbade his acquisition of a formal education, but God’s grace provided him with an innate intellect surpassed by none. He, his late uncles, Crawford and Jay Bailey, along with Pastor McCray worked diligently adding to and remodeling New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
Deacon Bailey was active in his community. He was a member of the St. Joseph Masonic Lodge #99. He served as Worthy Patron with the Order of Eastern Star. In addition, he worked with several local gospel quartet groups. “Rockjaw” was also founder of “Big Rock” male softball team.
Cleveland Bailey, Sr., was preceded in death by his loving mother and fathers; along with several of his children.
He left to mourn his passing a devoted and loving wife of seventy-two (72) years, Dorothy Russ Bailey; sons: Cleveland Jr. (Tonya) of Clearwater, Florida, the Reverend Carle (Victoria) of Jacob City, Florida, Leonard “Raye” (Jennifer) of Port St. Joe, Florida, Richard of Jacob City, Florida and Quamaine of Port St. Joe, Florida; daughters: Era of Jacob City, Florida, Bertha (Michael) of Port St. Joe, Florida, Brenda of Port St. Joe, Florida and Florence (Keith) of Atlanta, Georgia; siblings: Willie James Pittman, Sr. (Mildred) and Joe Pittman (Evelyn) and Lena Malone all of Jacob City, Florida and Anna Tanner of Ocala, Florida; sisters-in-law: Lorene and Lois Pittman both of Jacob City, Florida; thirty-one grandchildren; a host of great grandchildren; several great-great grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Public viewing for Deacon Bailey will be held Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 4-5 PM (CST) at the funeral home.
On Thursday, September 20, 2018 from 4-5 PM (EST) at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Port St. Joe, FL.
A Service of Love and Celebration will be 11:00 am, Friday, September 21, 2018 from the Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Jacob City, FL with the Pastor/Teacher Obadiah White, officiating.
Deacon Bailey’s earthly vessel will be laid to rest in the stillness of the Church Cemetery under the directions of Christian Memorial Chapel of Graceville.