Louis Leonard Bailin

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Louis L. Bailin died peacefully in his sleep October 23, 2010. Born in Chicago in 1922 in the same hospital as Sylvia, his wife of 66 years, he enjoyed saying, with an eye twinkle, "She wasn't much to look at in those days." He left behind the family he adored: his children Frances, (her husband, Joseph Petzel and their sons, Drew and Michael); Rebecca and Jonathan Bailin; granddaughters Brianna Bailin and Jaimie Goodfellow, (her husband Scott Goodfellow and great-grandson Kyle Goodfellow); his sister, Dianna, her husband, Leo; and six nieces. Louis' parents moved west when he was five and California was "home" ever since. He graduated from Santa Monica High School and later from UCLA. There, during World War II, he began his 41-year teaching career. In March, '44, he and Sylvia married. He soon joined the war effort in Washington, DC to do research for the Navy and became a Chief Petty Officer. At war's end, Lou and Sylvia hurried "home," this time with infant Frances, named after Franklin Roosevelt; she was born four days after the President died. Louis Bailin returned to UCLA after the war on the GI Bill and earned both a Master's and Doctorate in Physics. He never called himself "Dr.", except where required professionally, and preferred to be called simply Lou. Because of the post-war housing shortage, the Bailins joined a Mutual Housing cooperative in the '50's. Lou served on its board of directors. After much effort, the Brentwood Hills Association was born, an experiment in cooperative living located above Sunset Boulevard in West L.A. The Association survived the Brentwood fire in '61 and some of its original homes were designated Cultural-Historical Monuments. Lou meanwhile worked at Hughes Aircraft. He managed the department responsible for the Surveyor antenna used on the first moon-landing vehicle. In the mid-sixties, Lou accepted the Chairmanship of the Electrical Engineering (EE) Department at Kansas University where he served until 1969 when he became head of the Electro Science Lab at Ohio State. After over three years of dealing with the Lab's internal politics, the Bailins packed and again hurried "home," where he taught at Cal State Long Beach. He would say with a little grin, "We made a wrong turn on the freeway." Lou and Sylvia retired and finally settled in Santa Rosa. Besides his warm good humor, generosity distinguished Lou Bailin's life. He willed his body to UCSF Medical School to further the education of students, his last generous act.
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Oct. 30 to Oct. 31, 2010