Stephen A. Bailey

August 2, 1950 ~ May 16, 2020 (age 69)


Calling hours (10 people at a time) Tuesday, May 26, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Chapel of White's Funeral and Cremation Services. Interment Green Lawn Cemetery.

Stephen Anthony Bailey, age 69, was born on August 2, 1950 in Columbus, Ohio.  He was known for his big laugh, sharp wit, and loyalty to friends and family.

He grew up in Columbus with strong roots in Urbancrest.  He spent his first few years living primarily with his grandparents Joseph (deceased) and Margaret (Oakes) McDaniel (deceased) in Urbancrest where he and his cousin Jerold McDaniel worked hard to keep up with their older cousins Richard Edward Cooley, John Henry Cooley (deceased), and Gale Cooley. As a boy he loved westerns and dressed up like the cowboys he saw on TV. He often went next door to visit his Aunt Margaret (Collins) McDaniel playing his ukulele. He was very lucky that his paternal grandmother, Eva Bailey (deceased), also lived in Urbancrest and joined many other relatives in keeping a watchful eye over young Stephen.

He graduated from Central High School in 1968. Upon graduation he followed his mother’s footsteps to attend Central State University. There he met Karon Emory. They were married in 1972 and moved to Karon’s hometown of Dallas, Texas.  From this union, he had two daughters – Peggy Frances Bailey and Victoria Yvonne Bailey.  While Stephen and Karon later divorced, they remained close.

Once Stephen knew his daughters were secure in their futures and had graduated from high school and college, he moved back home to Columbus in 1997. His father, William Bailey, had passed away in 1986, so Stephen needed to be close to his mother Frances Bailey (deceased).

Little did Stephen know he also came home to meet his best friend and love of his life Cynthia (Johnson) Bailey. Cynthia brought not only a new light into Stephen’s life but also a son Erik Johnson, grandchildren De’Che Johnson and Caleb Johnson, and great-grandsons Andrey (AJ) Peake, Jr. and Kamren Gray. AJ and “Mr. Steve” built a strong bond that gave Stephen great joy.

Stephen and Cynthia traveled extensively making sure to live life to its fullest. In between trips to Mexico, Washington, DC (to visit Peggy) and Dallas (to visit Victoria), they’d also go to Georgia to visit his father and grandfather (Eddie Bailey, deceased) family’s frequent reunions. These visits often included his sisters and brothers – William (Sonny) Bailey, Christine Bailey (deceased), Phyllis Jackson, Marcia Early (deceased), Vanessa Goldstein, Gary Bailey (deceased), and Ilester Bailey.  Of the cherished family they connected with, Stephen had a special relationship with his Uncle Wallace (Bud) and Aunt Ozella Bailey.  Just last year, Stephen and Cynthia made a visit to Georgia.  

Stephen also built strong friendships along the way but the strongest was with Glen and Debbie Ford. Stephen met Glen almost 60 years ago and was Godfather to Glen and Debbie’s three children Nicole Watts, Glenda Vincent, and Glen William Ford.

In addition to family members mentioned above, Stephen is preceded in death by 10 aunts and uncles – Oliver McDaniel, Donald McDaniel, James McDaniel, Charles McDaniel, Robert McDaniel, Elmer McDaniel, Alice McDaniel, Helen McDaniel, Grace Cooley, and Elenora Moorman.  He also had a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Stephen loved Ohio State football, New York Yankees baseball, and the Cleveland Browns.  He also didn’t miss a week playing his numbers. Stephen lived life with a smile and a caring hand.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Stephen A. Bailey, please visit our floral store. Or you can make a donation given these difficult times to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank -



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Stephen A. Bailey, please visit our floral store.


Calling hours (Only 10 People allowed in Church at a time)
May 26, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
White's Funeral & Cremation Services Chapel
867 S. James Road
Columbus, OH 43227

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