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Marvin L. Bailey
September 30, 1949 ~ January 16, 2024 (age 74) 74 Years Old
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On January 16, Marvin passed away peacefully surrounded by family in Park Ridge, IL. He was born on September 30, 1949, in Ludington, MI to Orville and Opal Bailey. Marvin’s childhood spent on his family’s fruit farm and early jobs at a nearby dairy created in him an enduring love of dairy farms and a strong work ethic. Marvin’s early days in rural Michigan as the son of two schoolteachers also gave birth to his life-long love of learning. He read his family’s encyclopedias front to back and loved to lecture extemporaneously on almost any topic, even in his final days. He was quick to assume others shared his thirst for knowledge and interest in history and current events, particularly the history of American agriculture, automobiles, democracy, and many other topics.
In 1971 Marvin graduated from Michigan State University’s James Madison College, where he studied in the Justice, Morality, and Constitutional Democracy program. In 1970 he interned in Washington DC for Senator Philip Hart, known as the “conscience of the Senate.”
It was at MSU that Marvin met Laurie. They wed on September 8, 1973, while he was in law school. During this period, he was employed by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority working on issues of fair housing and housing affordability. Shortly after his admission to the Michigan Bar, he sat for the Illinois Bar Exam and relocated to the Chicago area, in support of Laurie’s pursuit of higher education. Over the next decade, he worked for the Village of Skokie, helping to develop senior housing, while also opening his own law practice.
In 1980, Marvin moved his growing family to Park Ridge, where he and Laurie raised Paul, Erica, and Stephanie within walking distance of the public library. His childhood love of reading never abated and it remained his favorite pastime even in a digital age. A short time after opening his law practice on Main Street, he found his primary passion: real estate development. Marvin loved the challenge of complex negotiations and detailed decision-making required to build communities of choice. He was able to engage in his passion for nearly 30 years, building what would become Crown Community Development, a Henry Crown Company. He was happiest mentoring staff and he held himself and those with whom he worked to the highest ethical standards.
In 2006, after a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the generosity of his employer, the care of the University of Chicago Medicine transplant team, and the kindness of an organ donor, allowed him to continue working at the job he loved until his retirement at age 70.
Whether staffing a food bank or connecting migrants with immigration attorneys, when he wasn’t working, Marvin enjoyed giving his time to his church community.
Marvin is survived by Laurie, his loving wife of 50 years; his children, Paul, Erica, and Stephanie (Brian) Socall; grandchildren Ellis and Lewis Socall; brothers Maurice (the late Iva) and Ronald (Sara); as well as many nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made in Marvin’s name to CommunityHealth (communityhealth.org) or Gift of Hope (giftofhope.org).
Visitation will take place beginning at 9:30am on January 27th, followed by a service of remembrance at 11:00am at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 306 S. Prospect Ave, Park Ridge, IL.