Donna Ripley Bailey, 96, died peacefully on August 17 at The Heritage in Appleton, where she had lived for the past 15 years.
She was born in Evanston, IL, on July 4, 1923, and spent her childhood in the Chicago area before moving to Boston in 1935. She graduated from St. Margaret’s School in Waterbury, CT (which she loved and stayed in close touch with her entire life) in 1941. She studied theatre at the Erskine School in Boston before attending and graduating from Pine Manor Junior College and “Katie Gibbs” Secretarial School. Always an art lover, Donna spent 5 wonderful years working at the Childs Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston before marrying Henry Bailey of Hyde Park, MA, in 1951 and moving to Nashua, NH.
Donna and Henry had 2 girls, Lesley and Candis, whom they raised first in Nashua and then, starting in 1960, in Appleton. They had many happy years as part of the paper industry community here, in addition to which Donna was active in the First Congregational Church UCC of Appleton, the King’s Daughters Infant Welfare Circle, the Appleton Curling Club, North Shore Golf Club, and Over the Teacups.
Upon Henry’s retirement as president of Fox Valley Corp in 1981, he and Donna spent 22 winters living on Anna Maria Island, FL, where they were full-time residents for the last several years. Donna was very active in the South Florida Natural History Museum in nearby Bradenton.
Soon after Henry’s death in 2002, Donna moved back to Appleton full-time to join old friends at the Heritage.
“DB” (as she’s known to her grandkids) is survived by her sister Connie Yohr of Newberg, OR, daughters Lesley Bailey of Tucson, AZ, and Candis (John) Hickey of Wilmette, IL, grandchildren Alison (Scott) Girard, Jack (Nora) Hickey , Patrick (Chrissy) Hickey, Matthew (Gwen) Hickey, and Claire (Jack) Cameron, and great-grandchildren Shea, Molly, Jeanne and Mary Kate Girard and John and Mae Hickey, all of the Chicago area.
For most of her life, Donna had the energy of 3 people, a strong, generous and mischievous spirit, and a sense of humor that was a pleasure to those around her especially in these last couple of years. She was an avid reader, a committed friend to many near and far, and will be greatly missed by family, friends, and her wonderful caregivers at the Heritage, to whom we are deeply grateful. We also deeply appreciate the contribution of the ThedaCare Hospice team.
Services will be held in Peabody Hall at Peabody Manor, 2600 S Heritage Woods Drive, Appleton, at 1pm on Tuesday, September 10. Refreshments will be provided afterwards. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice.