3/26 Recent Reported Deaths

Approximately 90 days after posting, notices will be moved to the TAPS (Archives) pages.


James Bailey

Pastor James Douglas Bailey of Edinburg, Virginia, went home to be with the Lord late Friday night, November 3, 2023, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Simpsonville, South Carolina. He was 78.  

James is preceded in death by his first wife, Judith Carolyn Comer Bailey, his parents, Sam Henry and Mary Emma Keen Bailey, and his brother, Kenneth Sam Bailey. He is survived by his second wife, Patty, and his children, Tami Bailey Nantz (John) of Simpsonville, SC, and Jonathan Paul Bailey of Edinburg, VA. His legacy continues through his beloved grandchildren: Anna Nantz (Greer, SC), and Josiah, Karalynn, and Neveah Bailey of Edinburg, VA; his sisters, Mary McCollum (Mac) and Nan Strickland, both of Reidsville, NC, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family members.  


Pastor Bailey was a graduate of Reidsville High School in Reidsville, NC, and a valiant combat veteran. He dedicated over five years of his life to serving the United States in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning numerous accolades, including the distinguished Purple Heart, after being wounded by a sniper’s bullet on June 27, 1967, in Vietnam. It was during his military service that he responded to God’s divine calling for full-time ministry. In 1971, shortly after the birth of his daughter, he began his training by enrolling at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he earned an undergraduate and Master’s Degree. Subsequently, he served as the pastor of Interstate Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee for three years and dedicated 36 years to serving Valley Baptist Church in Edinburg, Virginia, before retiring in 2015. Throughout his ministry, he also served as an Executive Board member for World Wide New Testament Baptist Missions for 40 years. Even after his retirement, he and his second wife continued serving, providing invaluable service as temporary replacements for missionaries in South Korea, New Zealand, Canada, Micronesia, and Guam who needed to take furlough.  


Pastor Bailey’s life was a testament to his unwavering trust in God, his steadfast service to His name, and his tireless efforts to lead others to Christ. He continued to fulfill this divine calling faithfully until his final breath. To God be the glory – great things He has accomplished through this remarkable life. 
Visitation with family and friends will take place just before the funeral at Valley Baptist Church (408 Stoney Creek Road, Edinburg, VA) on November 13, 2023, between 1:00 and 2:30pm. The funeral service will begin at 2:30pm, followed by a brief graveside service at Cedarwood Cemetery in Edinburg. The funeral service will be livestreamed at https://valleybaptistchurch.net.  

In lieu of flowers, we kindly request that you consider contributing to the Worldwide New Testament Baptist Missions (WWNTBM) Jim and Judy Bailey Missions Memorial Fund. You can donate by visiting http://wwntbm.com/give and selecting this fund from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, you may support the Valley Baptist Christian School Scholarship Fund by visiting https://valleybaptistchurch.net/online-giving/. Both causes held a special place in Pastor Bailey’s heart and continue to impact countless lives.  

Online condolences may be left at www.valleyfs.com 



(Posted January 2024)




Kenneth James Cheslack

Mr. Kenneth James Cheslack, age 78, of Johns Creek, Georgia passed away on Thursday October 5, 2023. He was in 81 Mortar Platoon, H&S Company.   



(Posted January 2024)




Arthur Edwin Shields, Jr

Arthur Edwin Shields Jr. of Williamsburg, passed peacefully on December 17th, 2023. Born June 22, 1944, he grew up in Sparrowbush, New York and earned his first nickname “Skip” among family and friends.

He graduated from Port Jervis High School and worked until the assassination of Kennedy. He resonated with JFK’s charge: “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Within two months, he’d enlisted in the Marines, trading “Skip” for “Private Shields”, and was off to South Carolina and then California for radio operator training. He spent 13 months supporting our efforts during the conflict in Vietnam. It’s said that “war is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror”. In the former, he shared his passion for playing the guitar to help keep his unit’s spirits lifted. The latter saw him earn his Purple Heart in action outside of Hue.

He served his enlistment honorably and was discharged from the Marines in 1968. Right away, a friend helped him secure a position at IBM, and he traded “Shields” for “Artie”. He also secured the hand of Kathleen Corcoran, his wife-to-be, though they’d wait until October 4th, 1969 to be wed. With IBM, he’d create a 31 year career, traveling all over the country and across four continents, solving database architecture challenges for IBM’s customers. With his wife, he’d spend 54 years and he’d add “Dad” to his list of titles, having four children (of varying degrees of delightfulness). No matter where his travels took him, he’d always bring back special treasures for his family; coins, trinkets, dolls and toys, letting them know they were never far from his thoughts.

Art was a fixer. If something was broken, you gave it to Skip: golf clubs, watches, radios, computers, wheelchairs, TVs and so on. Fixing things came naturally to him for two reasons. For starters, he reveled in competition – the challenge and the triumph of fixing something (and, just as importantly, the opportunity to buy another new tool). This also showed up at the card table, and the golf course (again, not missing the opportunity to buy a new gadget.) But moreover, he liked taking care of people, and fixing things was just another way of doing that. The world knew Art best through these traits, his competitive spirit, his protective nature, his love for his country, and his deep faith in the Almighty, and these traits live on in his children.

In his golden years, he earned one last title, “Opa”, from his four grandchildren: Major Mercer, Kiera, Wesley and Olivia Shields.

He is survived by his loving wife, his daughters, Jennifer (Mark Mercer) and Deirdre; and his son, Andrew (April Qian). He was preceded from this life by his daughter, Maureen.

A celebration of life occured on January 9, 2024 at 11am in Saint Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Rd, Williamsburg, Virginia.



(Posted January 2024)




William Frederick Simpson, Jr.

William Frederick Simpson, Jr. was born in Kinston, NC on January 24, 1945 to William F. Simpson, Sr. and Geraldine S. Simpson.

After graduating from Pink Hill High School in 1963 he attended the UNC-Chapel Hill graduating in 1967. Shortly thereafter he joined the United States Marine Corps and reported to Quantico, VA for Officers Candidate School.

Upon completion of OCS & TBS, he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division headquartered in Dong Ha, Vietnam. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines as a rifle company platoon commander with “Mike” Company and subsequently with “Lima” Company.

While serving in Vietnam, he received the following decorations: Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, USMC Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device, Vietnamese Service Medal with three stars, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm and frame.

Upon completion of his tour of duty in Vietnam he was assigned to “Charlie” Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division and stationed at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina as Executive Officer. He then was deployed to the Mediterranean with Battalion Land Team 1/8 for a period of six months. While deployed he was made Company Commander of “Charlie” Company and served in that capacity until he was released from active duty in December 1970 with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Corps with the rank of Captain on October 9, 1974.

Fred, as lovingly known to most, attended Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1972 and graduated with his J.D. degree in February 1975. Following in the footsteps of his father, he returned to Lenoir County after graduation to open his own law practice. He practiced law in Lenoir County and surrounding areas for over 40 years before retiring in 2021.

In 1981, Fred married Joan (Reynolds) Simpson, also from Lenoir County. Together, they raised two children whom they love dearly. Fred was active in his community serving in the Masons, as part of St Johns Lodge No. 4, and the Lenoir County Shrine Club. He was well known for his passion for the great outdoors, particularly fishing and hunting, and sitting around the country store with his friends just telling tall tales.

The last five months have been another battle in Fred’s life, one that no one could have foreseen. As with any trial before, he fought courageously, wanting nothing more than to come home. On the eve of November 1, 2023, the trumpets sounded and God called His warrior to His home, and like a good marine, he answered that call and he is now walking in the Lord’s Army.

Fred was preceded in death by his father WIlliam Frederick Simpson, Sr. of Pink Hill, his mother Geraldine Stroud Simpson King of Pink Hill, and nephew Colbey Pharr of Pittsboro.

Fred is survived by wife, Joan Reynolds Simpson, of the home; son William Frederick Simpson, III “Trey” (Heather) of Kinston; daughter Wendy Morris Riggs (Eddie) of Kinston; grandchildren Ava and Jackson Simpson of Kinston, Caroline McCoy (Chris), Katherine Wood (Tyler), and Rachel Riggs all of Cove City; and great-grandchildren Alyssa McCoy, Madison Wood, and Jennifer Wood all of Cove City; siblings Annette Taylor of New Bern, Terry Simpson of Raleigh, Russ Simpson (Carol) of Greensboro, Beverly Pharr (Bruce) of Pittsboro; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Service will be held at Pink Hill Funeral Home, 1056 N NC Highway 11, Pink Hill, NC 28572 at 3:00 pm on Sunday, November 5, 2023 with Reverend Hank Jarman officiating. Graveside services with military honors will follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park, 985 N NC Highway 11, Pink Hill, NC 28572 and visitation will follow at the graveside. Memorial contributions may be made to Vietnam Veterans of America DAV (Disabled American Veterans).

(Posted November 2023)


After approximately 90 days after posting, notices will be moved to the TAPS (Archives) pages.

The TAPS archives are arranged alphabetically by last name.  Readers are welcome to send information on 3/26 members for posting.  waltwhitesides@verizon.net