NORTHPORT — Sylvia Grace Letteney Bailey, 81, formerly of Northport, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Sylvia was born in Gardiner on Aug. 1, 1940, and was the daughter of Robert and Audrey Putnam Letteney. She grew up on the family farm and will be laid to rest in the family burial plot just across the street from her childhood home in Pittston. Sylvia graduated from Gardiner High School in 1957 and from Gorham State Teachers College in 1961.

She met the love of her life, the Rev. Russell H. Bailey, after being introduced by their mutual friends, Joe and Betsy Moody. Russell and Sylvia were married on Aug. 7, 1965, and joyfully celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family in 2015.

Sylvia was a lifelong teacher, whether in her own classroom, as a frequent substitute teacher in the elementary schools in Rockland and West Bridgewater, Mass., or in her Sunday school classes. She had a beautiful connection with every child she met. If Mrs. Bailey was ever your teacher, you can rest assured she knew your name, what grade you were in, your birthday, and all your siblings’ names and birthdays too.

She was a woman of great faith and was a proud and dedicated pastor’s wife. Sylvia was a shining example of service to God and church leadership in all of her and Russ’s congregations over the years in Dexter, Ellsworth, Clayton, N.J., Rockland, West Bridgewater, Mass., and finally in Northport and Lincolnville.

Sylvia loved to bake, sew, quilt, knit, crochet and all other kinds of needlework and she showed her love for family and friends with her delicious and beautiful creations. She was famous for her whoopie pies. She was also a dedicated historian, keeping detailed scrapbooks and photo albums, and carefully saving all her children’s papers, artwork and other memorabilia. Sylvia loved crossword puzzles and she was never far from one of her puzzle books in progress.

Besides her parents, Sylvia was predeceased by her brother, Hollis Letteney, and her sister Meredith Letteney. Sylvia leaves behind her loving and devoted husband Russell, as well as her children, Ellen F. Bailey of Portland, Bruce A. Bailey and his wife, Kellie, of Northport, and Robert D. Bailey and his wife, Lynette Siragusa, of New Jersey. She also leaves behind four loving grandchildren, Hannah, Doyle, Giulia and Olivia; her sister, Alice Kus, and her husband, Tom, of Newport; a brother, Roger Letteney of Pittston; and a large and loving extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, and their children.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, at Bayshore Baptist Church, 1835 U.S. Route 1, Lincolnville. Pastor Draa Mackey will officiate. For those unable to attend in person, a live-stream of Sylvia’s service will be available on her Book of Memories at Follow the link under the “Photos & Videos” tab, then “Watch Webcast.”

A graveside committal service will be announced in the spring at North Pittston Cemetery in Pittston. To share a memory or story with Sylvia’s family, visit their online Book of Memories at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bayshore Baptist Church, P.O. Box 66, Lincolnville, ME 04849 or Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, 383 U.S. Route 1, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074.