Garland “Butch” Bailey Jr.
November 22, 1947 - December 18, 2023
Garland “Butch” Bailey Jr., of Camden-Wyoming, DE, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family on Monday, December 18, 2023. Butch was born in Minquadale, New Castle to the late Stella Cresswell and Garland Bailey on November 22, 1947.
Butch always had a passion for music and dancing. During his teenage years, he attended Friday night dances at the Holloway Terrace Fire Hall where he jitterbugged to 50’s music. It was rare that he would miss a Friday night, and it was at one of these dances that he met the love of his life, Patricia.
Butch attended De La Warr High School. He wanted to be a Marine his whole childhood and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on his 17th birthday. Rising to the rank of Sergeant, he served with valor, completing two impactful tours in Vietnam as a machine gunner and earning various medals for his service, including the Combat Action Ribbon and the Vietnam Service Medal with silver and bronze stars. Despite his many service-connected disabilities, he took immense pride in being a Marine. He eventually went back to school and earned a college degree from Delaware Technical and Community College in 1986 at the age of 39. His professional career led him to work as an avionics technician at Dover Air Force Base, where he later retired.
Butch, along with Patricia, enjoyed attending doo wop and acapella group performances, especially the “Street Corner Five”. Many friends will remember Butch organizing oldies dances at the Holloway Terrace Fire Hall bringing together old friends. These annual fundraisers earned him an honorary lifetime membership. A passionate record collector, he found joy in meticulously restoring his treasured vintage jukeboxes. He would lovingly reminisce as he played music from his extensive record collection, often creating a nostalgic atmosphere.
Residing in New Castle until 2003, Butch and Patricia moved to Kent County, dedicating themselves to raising their grandchildren, Jonathan and Chelsea. He spent considerable time, and found solace, in caring for his lush lawn, tending to his garden and maintaining his beautiful backyard pond.
Butch was a devoted Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan. He will be remembered for his outspoken nature and frugality. His legacy is also one of unwavering courage, strength, and pride. Above all, he had a profound love for his family. We have great comfort knowing he is smiling down on us all and envision him in Heaven, jitterbugging to his favorite oldies. His passing leaves a void felt by many lifelong friends.
Left to cherish his memory is his beloved wife of 53 years, Patricia; daughter, Vicki (Matthew) Feeney of Middletown; grandson Jonathan (Deanna) Derryberry of Milford; granddaughter Chelsea (Ariel) Derryberry of West Deptford, NJ; brothers David (Cindy) Cresswell of Middletown and James (Brenda) Cresswell of Mount Washington, KY and sister Stella (Glenn) Barlow of Oklahoma City, OK; grandchildren, Cole, Alex, and Seth; and great grandchildren Mia and Jonathan Jr. He is also survived by children Michael and Shannon Bailey, their children and grandchildren. In addition to his parents, Butch was preceded in death by his brothers Francis, Daniel, William and Kenneth; and his granddaughter Bryana.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 12 pm on Friday, December 22, 2023 at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 North DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE, where a funeral service will begin at 12 pm. A military committal service with honors will be held at 10 am on Friday, January 26, 2024, in the chapel of Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in Butch’s name to: Warriors Helping Warriors, 104 South Broad Street, Middletown, DE 19709 or online by clicking here or The Semper Fi & America’s Fund, 825 College Blvd, Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057 or online by clicking here.