We join Sapelo Island in mourning the loss of Cornelia Walker Bailey, noted author, local historian, and a devoted friend of Hog Hammock Public Library.
Mrs. Bailey and her husband, Mr. Julius Bailey, donated our library refrigerator, bought snacks for our summer programs, built our wheelchair ramp and a skirt around our building. They donated lodging for guest speakers, and gave contributions during our fundraisers.
Mrs. Bailey participated as a speaker in several library programs, and was always willing to share stories from her life as a Saltwater Geechee growing up on Sapelo Island. She also provided guidance during the development of our Heritage Collection.
Furthermore, Mrs. Bailey was a tremendous cheerleader for Hog Hammock Public Library, encouraged others to give to the library, and reminded islanders and visitors of the importance of having a public library on the island.
She believed in our library and our community, and we are forever grateful to her for her generous spirit and support.
We offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Julius Bailey, the Bailey family, and the entire Sapelo Island extended family.
she organized her own company—Life Everlasting Press—and self-published her
debut novel, Gracie Lewis Chandler enjoyed a successful career as an elementary
school teacher. Her love of teaching and devotion to community service provided
many opportunities for creative expression.
addition to various community organizations, she has worked diligently for SICARS,
Inc., (Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society), a grassroots
organization that supports the legacy of the Gullah Geechee culture. She is
currently a member of the Hog Hammock Public Library Board on Sapelo Island,
Georgia, the place of her birth. She grew up in nearby Brunswick, Georgia, but
frequent visits to the island established early-on that Sapelo was home. It was
a love of her nurturing Geechee upbringing and rich heritage that led to the
writing of Free to Be.
received her baccalaureate degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical
University, (FAMU), Tallahassee, Florida and her master’s degree in Curriculum
and Instruction from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado. It
was at FAMU that she met her future husband, Tommy J. Chandler.
ended her long career in education as a school library-media specialist,
retiring first in Miami-Dade County, and later in Jacksonville, Florida, where
she now resides. She and Tommy enjoy the company of friends, their church, and
community organizations as she writes the sequel to Free to Be.