F.C.’s Charles ‘Chip’ Hailey Dies at 69

Charles Morgan ‘Chip’ Hailey III, 69, a lifelong resident of the City of Falls Church and son of a former mayor of the City, died suddenly at Virginia Hospital Center last Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 a.m. apparently from a heart attack.

Hailey was a founder of the Falls Church Cable Television Access Corporation, and a constant presence at a myriad of City events, volunteering his audio and technical assistance for many City Recreation and Parks programs, school programs, and City employee programs.

As a life member of the Cable Access Board, he helped with many cable TV productions, including George Mason High School graduations and Rec and Parks dance recitals, and he shared his knowledge, expertise and experience in audio and video with many members of the City and school staff, students and citizen Cable Access TV producers.

He enjoyed the friendship of many in the City and was with friends when he died.

Chip was born May 2, 1942 in Washington, D.C. to his parents Charles Morgan Hailey, Jr., who later served as mayor of Falls Church from 1959 to 1969, and Nancy H. Hailey. They lived in D.C. and attended The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C.

Chip was born with cerebral palsy and was one of the first poster children for Cerebral Palsy. As a poster boy he attended a special event as at the White House, where he sat on Margaret Truman’s lap. This event was even more memorable, since he had newly polished shoes he left stains on Miss Truman’s lap, making his “mark on the Truman Administration”, as he would later joke to friends.

The Hailey family moved to Falls Church and Chip attended The Jefferson School on Cherry Street (now the location of The Child Development Center). Later he attended The Madison School (now the site of the Sunrise Senior Living facility) and George Mason High School.

As a child he learned to love classical music. His mother’s youngest sister came to live with them at their Ridge Place home while she waited for her husband who was a POW in the Korean War for four years. During that time Chip was exposed to the sister’s love of classical music and Chip carried this love throughout his life with an extensive library collection of performances and classical music recordings.

As Chip grew up he became fascinated with audio-visual equipment and was an assistant at the school taking equipment to and from the classroom and setting it up for teachers. Ever since that time he has helped countless efforts in and around the City by loaning his filming, video and audio equipment, especially PA systems and special microphones and his services to anyone who needed help, whether he knew them or not.

Chip was devoted to his family and his church and later on the Falls Church Television Station for the next 30 years. As one of the founding members in the early ‘80’s and he served on the Board of the Falls Church Cable Access Corporation since its inception, as president for several terms, and then recently as a member of the board.

He was a pivotal presence assuring smooth transitions during staffing changes, new equipment purchases, and help for all producers and volunteers. He could often be found at his home studio working on yet another video project or helping others by transferring film to DVD. The photo is of Chip receiving his second Ripley Award in Fall of 2010 for his outstanding contributions to FCCTV. The Ripley Award is the premier achievement award.

Chip loved Falls Church history and would often recount stories of the “old days” here in the City and have personal stories of City leaders like Harry Wells, Don Frady, Ken Burnette, and many others. There is a one-hour interview conducted by Dave Eckert with Chip Hailey that can still be seen on FCCTV and is also on DVD in the Mary Riley Styles Library, where Chip recalls some of his favorite people and places he loved. He enjoyed the rare perspective of a long-term resident; what changed and what remained the same. Chip’s dad, Charles Morgan Hailey II was Mayor from 1959- 1969. Chip and the family would help his Dad campaign and pass out flyers around town. Chip believed in civic responsibility and service.

The Falls Church Cable Access Corporation and its FCCTV members will be hosting a memorial at its annual meeting to honor Chip’s many contributions for over three decades. Details will be provided on the websites.

Visitations will be held at Murphy Funeral Home, 1102 W. Broad Street, Falls Church on Friday, September 23, 2011 from 6 to 8 p.m. A memorial service will be held on October 23 at 2 p.m. at The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington D.C. which was moved from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. when Washington became of the capital of the United States in 1802. The Church is located at 1328 16th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036 Internment will be at the Ashcamp Memorial Cemetary in Keysville, Virginia where Chip will be buried at the family plot.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Chip Hailey Fund at the First Baptist Church, 1328 16th Street, NW. Washington, D.C. 20036 .