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Dr. David George Bailey, PhD

March 17, 1945 - August 27, 2022

David passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at his home in London, Ontario, in his 78th year.  Beloved husband for 50 years to the late Barbara Bailey (1949-2020).  Loving father of Karen Clooney (Matthew), Brian Bailey (Anita), all of London, and Scott Bailey (Christina), of Angus. “Grandpa” shared a unique and special bond with each of his adoring grandchildren: Lavinnia, Maia, Isaak, Rhiannon, Seren, Dane, and Aracelis. Also, survived by his sister Joan Stalker (John), of Cobourg; sister-in-law Jane Palmer (Mike), of Honolulu, Hawaii; his brother-in-law Chuck (Ainsley), of Beaverton. Predeceased by his parents, George and Barbara Bailey (née Smith).

David distinguished himself for two very different reasons in the world of international running, as well as food-drug research.  On June 11th, 1966, in San Diego, CA, he became Canada’s first sub-four minute miler in a time of 3:59.1.  He sought to top this a year later on July 22, 1967, this time in his home town of Toronto, ON, in a time of 3:57.7.  Later in his life, while working on a clinical pharmacology study between a blood pressure lowering drug and alcohol, he discovered the bizarre reaction between some medications and grapefruit juice.  So if you ever see a little sticker on your medicine bottle saying “don’t take with grapefruit juice” you can thank Dr. Bailey.

Over the past year, David discovered his biological siblings and has come to appreciate his unknown Scottish ancestry.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 3, 2022 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. at Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Road North, London.  A Celebration of Life and Interment will follow in Orangeville at a later date. Please contact the family for details if you would like to attend.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in memory of Dave are asked to consider the Humane Society London & Middlesex.

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We offer our sincere condolences on David's passing. I was a friend at Pharmacy U of T 1968. Dave was a gifted student, always jovial and friendly. We had good times at U. I closely followed his running career which was at its peak back then. He was a world class miler. I still have a couple gifts he brought me and one has been on my desk for 50 years. Rest in peace my friend.

~ Wayne and Huguette Burns

To the family of Dr. David Bailey: I am so very sorry for your recent loss of someone who, by all accounts, is a truly wonderful man. But I want you to know that the full page story about Dr. Bailey in the Globe and Mail (September 24) triggered such a wave of appreciation for his discovery of the adverse effects of grapefruit juice on certain blood pressure medicines. Following my miraculous resuscitation from full cardiac arrest on Leap year morning 2020, I had been curious about the warnings against taking grapefruit juice with some of my vital medicines. Now that I have learned of Dr. Bailey's brilliant discovery, I know who to thank for the bonus two and half years (and counting) that I have been gifted. Please know that I have not taken my good fortune for granted, and have been serving as a volunteer policy advisor for the research and advocacy work of the Canadian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (CanROC), a cross-Canada network of the leading cardiac medicine professionals, first responders and survivors. Today I will do a kindness to a stranger in Dr. Bailey's name. And whenever I sip my orange juice instead, I will whisper my thanks to him. J. Phillip Nicholson, BA Hons (Carleton), MA (Oxford), MCP (M.I.T.)

~ J. Phillip Nicholson

Deepest sympathies to Dave's family on his passing. I had the pleasure of meeting with Dave on a number of occasions to discuss our mutual interest in drug interactions with grapefruit juice. He was a passionate scientist and his discovery of this important interaction was a classic example of the scientific process at work. He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.

~ David Edwards

Sincerest condolences on the passing of an outstanding person. Dave was a superb scientist, a great academic, a visionary thinker and a wonderful person. His humility was such that you would not have guessed that he was the driving force behind of the top 100 pharmacology breakthroughs in the last century, the discovery of the grapefruit juice-drug interaction that both created a whole new field of research but also helped the lives of countless thousands of patients. Part of his vision was building a strong Clinical Pharmacology enterprise in London, and part of his legacy is the fact that London has one of the largest and most productive Divisions of Clinical Pharmacology in the world. He was an outstanding mentor to his students and an inspiration to us all. He will be sorely missed.

~ Michael and Cheryl Rieder

Deeply sorry to hear of Dave's death! For many years we had our offices in the research building at South Street across the hall from each other. Through our open doors, I heard many great stories and followed along as he worked out the grapefruit-drug interaction story. Even after he retired, he attended medical grand rounds where we would often sit together and catch up with each other. He definitely made the world a better place.

~ Claudio Martin

On behalf of the London Western Track & Field Club, I would like to offer condolences on the sudden passing of David. He was a friend to all and a loyal supporter of his sport with the many volunteer hours he gave as an official at local track and cross country meets. We will miss seeing him at events, his engaging stories, and words of wisdom to aspiring young athletes. It has been our honour and privilege to have had his presence in our lives. We hope that your memories offer comfort to all in your family. Kathy Roberts President--Board of Directors

~ Kathy Roberts

Sad news. He was a great runner as well as an excellent Scientist. Our thoughts and the Toronto Olympic Club, send condolences to his family at this difficult time.

~ Paul and Lorraine Poce

David was a wonderful neighbour who was always so generous with his time and kind words. It was VERY common to hear the sound of a snowblower in the morning and look out the window to see Dave clearing out our driveway as well as other neighbours' and the street. His smiles and jovial personality will be missed by all of us on Notre Dame Court & Crescent. Our condolences to the whole family and we know that their is a wonderful reunion happening with his beloved Barb.

~ Craig & Paddy Davis

Our sincere condolences to the whole family. Dave was a wonderful neighbour and friend on the Court that we shared for over 28 years. In our numerous conversations he always expressed how proud he was of his children and grandchildren and their various accomplishments. The loss of Barbara was difficult I know. Since retirement, Dave's winter hobby of snowblowing the entire court was appreciated by all the neighbours - and most likely to snow plow operator too! In the past year Dave shared with us the story of tracking down his birth family which was quite a journey for him. He will be missed by all.

~ David and Janet Moody

My deepest condolences to the entire family. Humble, and kind, the Canadian Medical Family, has lost a great pioneer. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.

~ Elise Laviolette

I am so sorry to hear of Dave passing away. While my contact with him was brief while working together in the Pharmacy at Vic, I always remember his kindness and passion for his work. His contributions in various parts of his life are astounding. Thank you 🙏

~ Janice King

This is such shocking sad news. We were colleagues together at London Health Sciences Centre. I marvelled at his discovery of the interaction between grapefruit juice and multiple medications - a major discovery in medical science. As a recreational runner, I also marvelled at his athletic accomplishments and we had many discussions about running. He was very thoughtful - without my prompting, he got Roger Bannister (world’s first sub-four minute miler) to autograph a book for me - a book I will always treasure. David was a very humble sincere person and he was accomplished at the highest levels academically and athletically. Very few people can make that claim. We were going to meet this fall for a coffee and I am so sorry this will not happen. My deepest condolences to David’s family - he was very proud of their accomplishments as well.

~ Dwight Moulin

I am saddened at the news this morning of the passing of a Canadian Icon, brilliant scientist, Canada’s first sub-4 minute Miler back in 1966, dedicated Track Official and all around Class Act Dr. David Bailey!! ❤️🥹🙏🏻. David was one of nicest and most humble men! RIP ❤️🙏🏻 He tolerated me singing his praises and identifying him to ALL student-athletes that he checked in at London area meets. Not only was he a great athlete, he took the same drive and determination into his career as a bio-chemist/pharmacist who also discovered the effects of grapefruit juice (indeed citrus) on prescription medicine interactions. But he was such a good friend, he accepted my invitation to address the best Ontario College XC athletes at Centennial in 2018 OCAA XC banquet. To this day it was the most beautiful, genuine and impactful speech to young people that their skills as student-athletes positions them very well to be as successful in every thing they will do in life!! Passion. Perseverance. Drive. Love. RIP David ❤️🙏🏻

~ John Stevenson

My sincere condolences to all of Dave's family. I am shocked to learn of his death. Interacting with him for decades was most pleasant as we relayed stories, dealt with educating science and medical students and enjoyed the academic life at Western in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. He was a great colleague and will be missed.

~ Doug Jones

Very sorry to hear the sad news. My deepest condolences to Dave's family. Dave, you will be missed so much. May you rest in peace.

~ Qingping Feng

Our Deepest Sympathy to the Bailey family. We were very saddened to learn of David’s passing. He was a colleague and friend. Dave and I collaborated on several research projects including the effects of grapefruit juice on drug metabolism, for which he is very well- known. We had many great discussions, usually over a coffee, about drug interactions and drug analysis. He will be missed!

~ Dr. David and Mrs. Rhonda Freeman

My condolences to his family and friends. From a runner who is inspired by his accomplishments both on the track, in his work and in helping others. God bless him and the Bailey family. Thank you Harvey Mitro for introducing me to Dr. David!

~ Paul Hobin

Services for Dr. David George Bailey, PhD

Visitation will be held at:
Westview Funeral Chapel
709 Wonderland Road North,
London, Ontario

September 3, 2022 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

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Humane Society London & Middlesex

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