Dona Mae Bailey, 90, longtime resident of Camarillo, passed away peacefully Friday, September 24, 2021, at her home in Camarillo surrounded by her children.
She was born in Ventura to Edna and Chester Cagnacci, where she was also raised.
She attended Ventura College where she met her future husband, John Bailey of Santa Paula. They were married in 1950 at the San Buenaventura Mission and enjoyed an adventure and love-filled life together for 62 years until John’s death in 2013.
The newlyweds moved to Tucson, Arizona, where John continued his education in pharmacy at the University of Arizona. In 1952, they welcomed their first child, Steve. The young Bailey family eventually made Camarillo their home in 1957. While growing their family with the most welcome additions of son Tom in 1960 and daughter Janine in 1967, Dona also supported John in fulfilling his dream of owning a pharmacy when he opened Las Posas Pharmacy in 1964. They remained in Camarillo with the exception of a one-year adventure living in Barbados with John teaching pharmacology at the local university for Project Hope in 1978.
Dona excelled in her numerous roles including (but never limited to) wife, mother, caregiver, friend, business partner, volunteer, and formidable opponent in Bridge, numerous card games and, of course, Scrabble. She cherished her long-time Bridge group and her local friends of all ages with whom she dined on a regular basis. She was a champion of all of her children’s and grandchildren’s endeavors, which she cheered on with great passion. Over many years, Dona served as president of the Easter Seals of Ventura and volunteered with the Meadowlark Service League. Dona was also an esteemed member of the Camarillo Doñas, an honor bestowed by the Pleasant Valley Historical Society.
She enjoyed hosting family events, was a faithful Dodgers fan, and rarely missed an episode of Jeopardy. She liked martinis, loved her dog Danny, and was the life of every party.
If you were lucky enough to know her, you know why she lovingly became known as The Queen. Her impeccable taste in fashion, food, and wine never waivered. She was smart, generous, genuine, and always a lady. She was extremely well read and was a stickler regarding vocabulary and punctuation. She was always there when you needed her. She never lingered too long and appreciated the same in return. She lived her life with beauty, grace, and dignity.
Dona is survived by her children Tom and his wife Sandy of Napa, Janine and her partner Jim Colbert of Pasadena, and daughter-in-law Tamra of San Diego. She is also survived by ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren; Dona also leaves behind numerous cherished friends and family.
She is predeceased by her husband John, son Steve, and brother Eugene Cagnacci.
In celebration of Dona’s life, a funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary Magdalen Church at 25 N. Las Posas Road in Camarillo, on Friday, November 5, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
In memory of Dona, please consider making a donation to The Miracle League of the 805 or the Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo.
Arrangements are under the direction of Griffin Family Funeral Chapels, 1075 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo.