Donald L. Bailey of Cocoa Beach, died on June 30, 2023. He was born October 2, 1931 in West Virginia of the late John Lawrence Bailey and Laura Victoria Phipps Bailey, formerly of ‘Beckley, West Virginia and Tallahassee, Florida.
He attended Lincoln Elementary School and Beckley Junior High Schools and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley in the class of 1949. He served four years in the US Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) during the Korean war, stationed in Texas, Florida and Newfoundland, Canada attached to the Headquarters, Northeast Air Command, where he was chief communications security analyst. After military service he attended the Florida State University in Tallahassee and the University of Florida at Gainesville where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. His other education included The NASA Management Seminar; Government Contracting at George Washington University in Washington, and Physiological Systems Analysis for Engineers at the University of Michigan.
He spent most of his working career as an aerospace engineer. Assignments included Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Florida Research and Development Center at West Palm Beach, where he was senior test engineer on the high pressure liquid hydrogen turbo pump which was used on the space shuttle, and on the RL-10 hydrogen-oxygen rocket engine (which still flies on the Centaur stage); the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Kennedy Space Center and Vitro Corporation at Coca Beach. With NASA, his assignments included the Apollo Applications Program, Skylab, and Spacelab programs, during which he received numerous awards and promotions, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. After retirement he tutored high school students in math, and worked as substitute teacher in Math and Earth and Space Science.
He leaves his wife and best friend Bettie B. Bailey of Cocoa Beach, Florida; children Donald Jr. and Pamela of Florida, and John of Klamath Falls, Oregon, plus step-children Leslie Wayson and Roger Burleigh, of Florida, and Susan Anderson of Georgia, as well as six grand-children.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by brothers Ernest A. Bailey and Fred S. bailey and sisters Evelyn Bailey Toney, Mary Jewell Bailey Griffith and Elsie Frances Bailey.
In accordance with his wishes as an Atheist, there will be no viewing and no service. The body will be cremated and interred at the Veterans Cape Canaveral National Cemetery at Scottsmoor, Florida.