Former Soccer Player Dies in Automobile Accident
Justin J. Bailey, a 2010 Hope College graduate from Portage living in Grand Rapids, died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Texas Township in Kalamazoo County on Thursday, June 23.
Bailey, majored in management at Hope. He was a four-year letter-winning midfielder on the men's soccer team.
Visitation will be Wednesday, June 29, from 1-8 p.m. at the Visitation will be Wednesday from 1-8 p.m. at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes 3926 So. 9th Street Kalamazoo/ The funeral will be Thursday, June 30, at 1 p.m. at the Center Point Church, 2345 N. 10th Street, Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo Gazette story
Statement by Coach Steven Smith
"Justin Bailey was a young man who was always known as both our quietest player and our most gifted player with the ball on his foot. He was loved by everyone on the team and will be sorely missed. Justin stayed connected to so many players on the team and his absence will leave a terrible scar on all of our lives. As we gathered today in the locker room and as I made so many calls last night to former players, it was clearly evident that Justin left a mark on all of us in the way that he played but more importantly in the life that he lived. He was always concerned for others above himself. He served the soccer community through his coaching in our camps for the past three years and was always a favorite of the children in our camps due to his quiet demeanor but exceptional talent. I have never coached anyone like Justin before and never will again. I must say, I can already smile when I think about his long hair, his intense playing style on the field that did not match up with his mellow personality off the field! I smile when I think about his constantly playing with the ball wherever he went (yes, even on the way to class and in the dorms). I smile when I think of the number of shoes he had in his locker as he had a different colored (flashy) pair for every day of the week at camps. I smile when I think of Justin during our lift contests at camp and his ability to shock the audience with his talent. And I cry when I see the eyes of my team players as they realize the loss of such a great young man."