Celebrating a Life Well-Loved and Well-Lived
Thurman Leigh Bailey
“I am what time, circumstance, history have made of me, certainly; but I am also much more than that. So are we all.” ~James Baldwin
God smiled wide on his people. The day was September 29, 1990 and, of course, Thurman Leigh Bailey smiled back. Indeed, it was that smile—broad, honest, and light-filled—that would carry him through 28 years.
Born to proud parents Lydia and Charles Bailey, Jr., Thurman was the baby of their young family. After matriculating through Chicago Public Schools, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Virginia’s Norfolk State University. Returning home after graduation, Thurman found work with several companies before landing at People’s Gas. This, however, was not his calling; serving and securing his community was. Whether as a member of the Utility Workers Union of America or a polling place coordinator, Thurman understood his value. Thus, this gentle giant of a man spent most evenings ensuring young Chicagoans were greeted with a smile, but felt safe enough to revel in the city’s nightlife offerings.
Known by many names—Thurminator, Thurm, Big Baby Son, Big Worm, Mello—his life is a lesson. Gregarious, intellectual, witty, and kind, Thurman reminds us it is not the length of life, but the depth of life that matters.
On Friday, March 8, 2019, death’s angel called the spirit of our beloved Thurman Leigh Bailey home. Now born to eternity, he leaves a gathering of loved ones to cherish his memory—his mom, Lydia Bailey; pops, Charles Bailey, Jr.; brother Charles “Chucky” Bailey III; cousin-brother Zackery Stemley IV; a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends; and Patricia “Patty” Ann Bogard, his life’s light.
Lastly, we offer our gracious gratitude for the efforts of Eric Laster as he diligently works toward a resolution in Thurman’s untimely transition.