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Bertha Melgoza Baker

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Bertha Melgoza Baker Obituary
Bertha Melgoza Baker June 22, 2018 La Jolla Bertha Melgoza Baker passed away on June 22, 2018, surrounded by her family. A childhood illness left her legally blind at age 11, but her graceful adaptation and remarkable achievements made her an inspiration to many. As such, Bertha was the subject of a video produced by the National Institutes of Health, Office ofScience Education, on Women Scientists with Disabilities. She received her A.S. degree with distinction from Imperial Valley College, Imperial, CA, in 1974, where her accomplishments and the recognition she received helped in the founding of a program for students with physical limitations. It was the first such program in California, and continues to this day. She earned her B.A. in psychology, magna cum laude, from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, in 1975. Bertha then moved on to Pepperdine at Newport Beach for her M.A., where she met her future husband, Richard C. Baker; they married in 1976. Together they went on to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where Bertha earned her Ph.D. in psychology in 1980. While there she was selected for a Danforth Graduate Fellowship and chosen as Handicapped New Mexican of the Year, among many other honors. She then completed a pre-doctoral internship and a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, in New Haven, CT. She and Rick moved to La Jolla in 1982, where Bertha maintained her clinical psychology practice. She is survived by her husband Richard C. Baker of La Jolla, and their son, Samuel R. Baker of San Diego, sisters Angelina Melgoza, Luz Elena Melgoza Bourekas, Martha Alicia Melgoza Cornu, and Blanca Sylvia Melgoza Ramos, and brothers Miguel Melgoza and Jose Alberto Melgoza, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Alejandro Melgoza and sisters Martha Ofelia Melgoza Aranda and Maria Jessica Melgoza. The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Braille Institute of America or to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, San Ysidro, CA. The funeral mass and burial took place at El Camino Memorial Park on June 27.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on July 11, 2018
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