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The hearts of the 200 people packed into the Springfield Gardens United Methodist Church on a rainy Saturday morning were as drenched as the sodden streets outside as they bade farewell to a beloved mother and her two teenage daughters.
Family members and friends wept as they sat before the three pink caskets containing Dionne Coy Bailey, 42, and her daughters Yanique, 19, and Yolanne, 14. All three were shot and killed in their Rosedale home Feb. 22 by Mark Bailey, the girls’ father and Dionne’s husband. Mark Bailey shot himself afterward.
Coy Bailey was already an accomplished educator when she came with her family to the United States from Jamaica in 2001. Most recently she had been an assistant principal at A. Philip Randolph High School in Manhattan.
She was memorialized by her supervisor, Assistant Principal Eileen Filiberti, as an inspiration to the staff for her dedication and writing skills.
“The last day at work, she said, ‘Come over and give me a hug,’” Filiberti said, recalling that it was impossible for Coy Bailey to suppress her maternal instinct. “I said, ‘I’m not going to give you a hug. I’m going to see you on Monday.’”
Two of Coy Bailey’s five older sisters also remembered her as a bright, smiling presence in their lives.
“She was my baby. I was there when she was born,” sister Angella Brooks said as she prepared to sing a hymn. “Today I don’t know if I’ll have the strength.”
Coy Bailey’s sister Joy recalled Coy Bailey’s wry sense of humor, recalling how she reacted to turning 31.
“She said, ‘I can’t believe I’m off the calendar and going on to the measuring tape,’” she said.
Yanique Bailey was remembered as a devoted student at Stony Brook University on her way to medical school to pursue her dream of becoming an obstetrician. She was an active lacrosse player at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside.
“Yanique was one of the cousins I looked up to the most,” Dayna Lindo said.
Yolanne was remembered for her artistic knack, which included making personalized greeting cards. She was enrolled at the DaVinci Science and Math Program at Cardozo and dreamed of becoming a professional chef.
The Rev. Cecil Stone called the family’s death “an inconsolable experience in all of our lives,” but urged mourners to remember Dionne Coy Bailey and her daughters.
“The lives that these women have touched tells you their living was not in vain,” he said, noting the family hopes to start a scholarship in their names.
For more information, contact the church at 718-528-7267.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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