Michael E. Bailey

July 5, 1947 – April 25, 2024

Michael Edward Bailey (76) passed away peacefully on April 25, 2024 at his home in Geyserville, California, with his family lovingly by his side. Michael fought valiantly against cancer for 10 years.

Michael was born in Sacramento on July 5, 1947 to Doris and Edward Bailey. After graduating from Placer High School in Auburn, California, Michael joined the U.S. Navy where he trained as both a medic and a pharmacy technician. During the Vietnam War, he served as a medic on the front lines with the marines, preparing wounded soldiers to be transported out by helicopter. In 1974, he earned a B.S. in Pharmacy at the University of the Pacific.

In 1974, while at the University of the Pacific, Michael met his wife Deborah. After their marriage, they moved to Sonoma County to have children and raise their family on a farm. Within six years, they had three daughters, a herd of horses, a flock of sheep, a tribe of goats, a clutch of chickens, and a pack of dogs. With the exception of a gelding and rooster, Michael was entirely surrounded by estrogen, and he loved it.

In addition to the bond with his family, Michael fostered deep lifelong friendships with his friends. Through the years, they spent vacations, holidays, dinners, and many, many, many cocktail hours together.

Michael led a distinguished career as a pharmacist. Over the years, he worked as chief pharmacist at Healdsburg General, opened his own professional pharmacy in Healdsburg, worked for Fiesta Pharmacy, North Coast Rehabilitation Center, Health Plan of the Redwoods, and MedImpact. He was also a teacher of pharmacology to nursing students at the SRJC for 20 years. Prior to retirement in 2013, he served as President of the National Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, helping to improve patient health by ensuring access to high-quality, cost-effective medications and other therapies.

Michael was curious and his inquisitiveness and sharp intellect drove most of his pursuits. Michael was an accomplished amateur astronomer, imaging planets, stars, nebulas, and galaxies. Having lived in Sonoma County for almost 50 years, he developed a passion for wine and taught himself how to make it—from growing wine grapes in his vineyard and managing grapevines to the wine making itself. He did his own harvesting, crushing, pressing, fermentation, aging, and bottling, bringing together friends and family for an annual free labor harvest. Similarly, he developed an interest in olives, tending to this orchard and making olive oil and brined olives that his family and friends looked forward to every year. This also involved another free labor party by his friends and family – which he always provided coffee and donuts.

In addition to his love of old cars, Michael was an avid collector of antiques, especially old music players and carousel animals. He also had an affinity towards gadgets, wiring the whole house with the latest and greatest.

Michael was also known for indulging his wife in her never-ending equestrian pursuits. It was agreed upon between them long ago that the costs associated with Debby’s horses were never to be discussed.

Michael is survived by his wife, Deborah (Asrican) Bailey, and their three children and spouses – Nichole McAdams (husband Troy), Stephanie Bailey (husband Gilbert), and Jacqueline Luders (husband Josh). He is also survived by nine grandchildren – Julianna Gomes (25) (husband Johnny), Michael McBurney (24), Joseph McBurney (23), Heather McAdams (14), Ahava Bailey-Martinez (17 months), Everley Luders (10), Ridgeley Luders (8), Wrenley Luders (3), and Quinnley Luders (8 months). He is also survived by his brother Chris Bailey, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Michael is preceded in death by his brother Mark Bailey.

Michael was devoted to his family and was married to Deborah for over 48 years. He will be dearly missed.