David Z. Bailey, 97

Mystic, Conn.

David Bailey, of Mystic, Conn., passed away peacefully in his sleep with family at his side on Nov. 14, 2018, at the age of 97. He was born in New York City to Elvia Z. and Russell T. Bailey. They soon moved from Brooklyn to Greenwich, Conn., where he spent his childhood. He attended the Greenwich Country Day School, Pomfret School, The Thacher School and ultimately earned his degree in Naval Architect and Marine Engineering from MIT. Upon graduation he joined the Navy and was based at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California. After the war, he worked at the Gas Turbine Laboratory at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. He was an accomplished sailor and successfully campaigned his New York 32, Alar, winning the Blue Water Bowl for best corrected time for the 1947 and 1949 Newport to Annapolis races. He was introduced by a good friend to Nancy Ann Parsons, also an avid sailor, and they were married in 1950. They settled in Rhode Island, where they raised four children.

He was called up for the Korean War and worked for two years at the Bureau of Ships in New York. He had a creative mind and subsequently devoted his energy to developing and patenting a commercial hydrofoil boat, with variable pitch foils, providing more lift at lower speeds. Later, he applied that knowledge to wind energy research and built an operating prototype wind machine, utilizing a novel horizontal cross-axis design that could be applied in the ocean.
In 1988, he married Clare Southerland Doolittle, who had a passion for the arts and world travel. Each trip became more adventurous as they scampered onto ice floes in Antarctica, traveled by train across Siberia and took cruises to far off places – giving family nail-biting moments, as they occasionally traveled through war zones.

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