Rosanne ("Ro") Bailey, age 66, of Fairbanks, Alaska died November 1, 2016, after a brief illness. Rosanne was born in Chicago, Illinois to the late Richard W and Rosemary W Bailey, nee Wright. She was the dear friend of William Selah (Oakton, VA); cherished sister of Richard Fiske Bailey (Oak Park, IL), Barbara Walsh (Michael -Downers Grove, IL), Susan Bailey (Sycamore, IL), Stephen Bailey (Lowell, NC), and Patrici7a Houston (Robert - Vienna, VA); proud aunt of Christopher and Patrick Walsh, Nicholas and
Casey Dallas, Patrick and Sean Folliard, Cassidy, Jeremy and Cade Bailey, Blake Jannett, and Jack and Charlie Houston; and beloved cousin to Andrea Wright Krajack (Darien, IL) and the late William Wright.
Rosanne graduated from St. Edmund School (1964), Oak Park and River Forest High School (1968) (National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist). She received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Purdue University, with honors, in Economics (1973) and earned her Master of Science Degree in Engineering Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology (1984) as a Distinguished Graduate.
Rosanne entered the Air Force in 1977 and served in many highly visible positions of leadership and responsibility in assignments such as the Commander, 354 th Logistics Group Eielson AFB Alaska; the Commander, 435 th Air Base Wing Ramstein Air Base and Kaiserslautern Military Community Germany; and Commander, Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center Cheyenne Mountain AFS Colorado.
Brigadier General Bailey retired from the Air Force in 2006, and her military awards and decorations include Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and National Defense Service Medal with bronze star. She was also a Distinguished Graduate of the Defense Systems Management College as well as Air Command and Staff College where she received two research awards.
While serving at Eielson AFB in 1996, she fell in love with Alaska, and after her retirement in 2006, made Fairbanks her permanent home.
In 2006 she joined the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF) as Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services. Following that position, Rosanne became Special Projects Coordinator at UAF where she was instrumental in developing standards, policies, and guidelines for Department of Justice use of unmanned aircraft for law enforcement agencies nationwide. She also worked closely with the Department of Interior to develop standards and inspection criteria for unmanned aircraft use by all agencies nationwide. Recently Rosanne was a key proponent developing partnerships with the Department of Defense and Alaska Department of Public Safety to integrate unmanned aircraft into emergency response operations. Rosanne's experience with large acquisition projects for the military led to her deep involvement in UAF's acquisition of the R/V Sikuliaq, the National Science Foundation vessel hosted and operated by UAF's Seward Science Center. Rosanne enjoyed her role in bringing the optimally-equipped, ice-hardened vessel to Alaska to conduct the Arctic research it was designed to achieve. Rosanne retired from the University of Alaska in 2016 and was supporting the unmanned aircraft project part time and pursuing a second master's degree in counseling at the time of her death.
Rosanne was active at First Presbyterian Church of Fairbanks and served as an Elder on Session. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Fairbanks in early 2017, and a memorial and interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in the spring of 2017.
Two non-profit cancer awareness groups are accepting donations in Rosanne's name: Let Every Woman Know (www.leteverywomanknow.org), an Alaska organization where Rosanne was a board member; and the Foundation for Women's Cancer (www.foundationforwomenscancer.org).
Published in The Juneau Empire from Dec. 27, 2016 to Jan. 26, 2017