Christina "Tina" Bailey On Tuesday July 22, 2020 Christina (Tina) Anne Bailey, loving wife, mother, mentor, and friend, passed away at the age of 78. On June 4th, Tina and her husband Phil celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on the same day she had major surgery. She returned home in time for her July 4th birthday to embark on a long road to recovery during which she passed unexpectedly. Tina was bright, loving, funny, and intelligent. She loved a good book, crossword puzzles, a snuggle with her cats, jazz, any sci-fi movie, chocolate, time in her garden, anything with travel and photography, among many other things. Above all she loved her family and her friends. Tina was born on July 4,1942 in Brooklyn, NY the only child of Edward and Josephine Wahl, both children of Lithuanian immigrants who had a high school and eighth grade education, respectively. As a woman in science, Tina was clearly a pioneer. She pursued chemistry and earned a bachelor's degree from the College of St. Elizabeth in New Jersey and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Indiana, the place where she met her husband Phil. Tina was a first generation college graduate, and was in the early stages of her Ph.D. program when she lost her mother. Soon after Phil and Tina married she lost her father, and Phil became her only family. After graduate school, Phil and Tina moved to San Luis Obispo as Phil had secured an assistant professor position at Cal Poly in chemistry beginning fall 1969. Tina sought an equivalent position herself but at the time Cal Poly, like many other institutions, had a nepotism policy that prevented her from consideration despite her qualifications. Instead, Paso Robles High School was in need of a chemistry teacher as school was about to begin. Tina took the position and taught chemistry and math for two years until she and Phil adopted their first child. She remained in contact with some of those Paso High School students even in her last days. As Equal Employment Opportunity legislation became law in the early 1970's, Tina secured a lecturer position in the Chemistry Department at Cal Poly which she held for several years. She was one of a very few women faculty members in science at the time, a time shrouded with skepticism by some of women in tenured positions. Nevertheless, Tina persisted and secured an assistant professor position in biochemistry by the late 70's. In all things, Tina excelled as a faculty member. She was quickly recognized with Cal Poly's Distinguished Teaching Award, was once the campus's nominee for the California State University Outstanding Faculty Award. Tina served as Chair of the Academic Senate Curriculum Committee, received national recognition for her development of the studio classroom model in chemistry where "lecture" and "laboratory" are integrated in the same space and was an honored alum at her undergraduate alma mater. She served two terms as department chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at Cal Poly before she retired. Tina co-authored several editions of a nationally published organic chemistry textbook with Phil. She especially liked to teach Drugs and Poisons, Biochemical Pharmacology and general chemistry in the studio classroom, all courses she personally developed initially. By example, she paved the way for others, especially in the sciences, who were unjustly marginalized. We are all better because of pioneers like her. In this light, Tina was also extremely active in the community. Early in her life she held leadership positions in the League of Women Voters in SLO County. For many years Tina ran a Girl Scout Troop, during which she coordinated Girl Scouts for all of SLO county. Most memorable was a large semi-truck that pulled into the driveway of her home for several years and filled the Bailey living room with hundreds of cartons of Girl Scout cookies, waiting to be delivered. Along with her husband Phil, she helped with his Boy Scout Troop, served as parent leaders in the San Luis Obispo Seahawks Swim Club, was active in the PTA at the children's schools, and both were eager volunteers in a variety of other settings. For the last several years Tina served on the Board of the Community Counseling Center, and as president for the past two years until forced to resign for health reasons. Tina was an integral part of the expansion of CCC and was very proud of its role in the community as well as all the other organizations whose roles are to benefit those in need. In their life together, Tina and Phil raised four adopted children, and unofficially adopted dozens more as their "Cal Poly" family by offering a place to live in their home, assisting with tuition and fees, or simply providing love and moral support. Tina and Phil enjoyed visiting their Cal Poly family all over the country and the world. Tina is survived by her husband Phil, their four children, their partners and grandchildren Karl and his wife Lavonne and children Emily, Helaina, Chase, and Josh; Jennifer and her son Jamir; Kristi; and Michael and his wife Lori and children Sean, Hunter, Chris, CJ, Cody, and Colton. PS from Phil: Tina and I both have had wonderful careers at Cal Poly. I don't see how I could have achieved so much in my own career without the love, understanding, and support of Tina. Her journey was more challenging but she absolutely excelled. I have always been so proud of her and so thankful for our love and friendship in our professional, community and family lives. On behalf of Tina we want to acknowledge how much she loved the Cal Poly faculty, staff and students, the San Luis Obispo community and all of her family, friends and colleagues. We hope to have a celebration of Tina's life sometime in the future.
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Published by San Luis Obispo County Tribune on Jul. 26, 2020.