MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Family and friends gathered Saturday afternoon to say their final goodbyes to Judge and Civil Rights Activist D’Army Bailey.
The funeral was held at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.
Several judges, elected officials and city leaders were in attendance at Bailey’s funeral, including former President Bill Clinton.
Aubrey Howard, a close friend, said, “I miss him, but I will always cherish our relationship.”
“Judge Bailey was a person who was constantly moving, changing– never accept the status quo,” Mayor A C Wharton told WREG.
Judge Bailey was a husband and father, a civil rights activist, a circuit court judge and even an actor in several movies.
“I loved being around the guy,” President Bill Clinton said. “I remember every conversation. I remember every moment I was ever there.”
President Clinton delivered Bailey’s eulogy.
“He was always moving us outside our comfort zone and his,” Clinton said.
Clinton recalled how Bailey never stopped moving and highlighted the work he did to preserve the Lorraine Motel at the where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in 1968.
“You cant imagine if you’re not of a certain age what that civil rights museum means to those of us that were young when Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis,” Clinton said.
It is a legacy family members are proud of even though it is hard to say goodbye.
“Well, we were very –he and I were very close,” Walter Bailey, Jr. said. “And it was almost like we were whittled at the hips.”
As family members continued to grieve, those who knew Bailey said they hope the next generation keeps his movement going.
“He grounded everything in his simple conviction that we’re all equal and he moved — until the very end he moved,” Clinton said.
Bailey’s final resting place is at Memorial Park Cemetery.