Robert James Baile, church deacon

October 11, 2020

Robert James Baile, 76, following a six-year battle with ALS, was promoted to glory Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.  He passed peacefully at home with his family.

Jim was born March 29, 1944, in Takoma Park, Md., the youngest child of Robert and Nita Baile. He grew up in Kensington, Md., and graduated from Walter Johnson High School.  Jim was in the U.S. Navy from 1962-66 and was stationed at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Jim was an airline mechanic for U.S. Airways for 32 years after receiving his FAA Airframe and power plant mechanics license from the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. He retired in 2001. Jim had many hobbies, interests and loves: dogs, cars, planes, motorcycles, gardening, woodcutting, helping his friends, and traveling and tinkering with his RV.   

In 1966, Jim met his wife, Shirley Webb, who also lived in Kensington. They raised their sons, Bob and Charlie, and their niece Susan Beck from the time that she was 10 years old.  Some of the fond family memories were going to church together, watching the Redskins when they were actually good, and going on annual vacations at the Outer Banks, N.C.

Jim’s life began to change in the early ‘90s when he read through the Bible in a year. The grace of God that he had grown up hearing about, but kept at a distance, broke into his life in a rather profound way. His temper and impatience began to look much more like love, generosity and contentment. He served as a deacon and chairman of the deacons at Liberty Baptist Church in Lisbon, Md.  He also loved to visit the elderly and shut-ins, even helping lead a monthly service at the Pleasant View Nursing Home. 

Jim and Shirley sold their house in Maryland in 2002 and downsized to live and travel in an RV for seven years.  During those years, they made many additional friends and have very fond memories traveling the country together. In 2009, they decided to settle down in Waynesville, N.C.  They loved their time in the scenic mountains of Western North Carolina.   

When Jim was diagnosed with ALS in 2014, he came to embrace his condition without bitterness or self-pity.  His faith in God’s goodness enabled him to speak to many people about his trust in the Lord. Of course, Jim was not perfect, but he was a joy to be around with his contagious laughter, sense of humor, and large personality that always filled the room.  

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Shirley Webb Baile; his sister and her husband, Sally and Dick Stuart; two sons and their wives, Bob and Lisa Baile, and Charlie and Kim Baile; grandchildren, Megan, Matt, Haddon, Elise and Karis; and niece, Susan Goldberg and her children, Hannah, Nathaniel and Israel. He is also survived by his close friend Clem Birely.  

The family would like to especially thank Jim’s faithful caregivers over the years:  Jodi Johnson, Tiffany Young, Sherry Bullock and Toni White.  

The Memorial Service in Maryland for Jim will be Saturday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m., at Liberty Baptist Church in Lisbon, Md. ( The Memorial Service in Delaware will be Monday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m., at East Gate Presbyterian Church in Millsboro (  Jim will be laid to rest with military honors at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro at 2 p.m., Oct. 19

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer that contributions be made to the ALS Hope Foundation (  

Online condolences may be sent by visiting

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter