Carlyn Jean Halde of San Francisco California passed away peacefully on June 11, 2014, after nearly 90 years of a full and amazing life, filled with her love of teaching, helping others, exploring the world and nature, and an inexhaustible curiosity. Carlyn was born in Glendale, California on June 16, 1924. She grew up primarily in Southern California where she attended school in Alhambra, CA. Carlyn caught "the bug" early in life that drew her into her later travels, adventures, and accomplishments. She was fascinated by books about nature, and far-away places and cultures - including Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Her love of books and learning continued throughout her life.
Carlyn earned a Bachelors in Zoology and a Masters in Microbiology at UCLA; she became particularly interested in fungi that cause disease, medical microbiology. At UCLA she began her teaching career, as a TA in both zoology and botany. While at UCLA she spent many weekends hiking and camping in the desert and mountains in Southern California. One summer during WWII She manned a remote mountain look out station.
Shortly after receiving her Masters degree she received an invitation to teach Medical Mycology at the University of Hawaii. She moved to Hawaii and lived there for two years. She taught Medical Mycology at the University of Hawaii and also began working in clinical microbiology at Tripler Naval Hospital and became the head of the Microbiology Department. Again, hiking and camping on both Oahu and the other Hawaiian Islands.
Carlyn was awarded one of the first Fulbright Scholarships, which allowed her to teach Medical Mycology at the University of the Philippines Institute of Hygiene, and to travel throughout Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Ceylon, Thailand, India, Burma, Singapore, and Hong Kong, frequently lecturing on new developments in diagnosis and treatment of fungal infections.
Carlyn was passionate about travel and in 1961 she took her parents on a several months trip to Africa. She bought a VW Beetle on an impulse, and drove around Africa exploring the continent and seeing the wildlife.
Carlyn received her Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology at Duke University in North Carolina. After working briefly at the Old Stanford Hospital in San Francisco she joined the University of California San Francisco, working both in the clinical labs, and teaching - she taught Medical Microbiology. Carlyn was passionate about education and health and instilled her love of learning to the thousands of medical, dental, pharmacy and nursing students she taught during her long career as a Professor of Microbiology at the University of California, San Francisco. She "retired" from UCSF at the age of 65, so the department would have the money to hire "new" people. However, for over 15 years she continued teaching at UCSF, working as an unpaid volunteer, helping educate medical, dental and pharmacy students.
But a full time career at UCSF was not enough to keep Carlyn busy. She was involved in many other pursuits and organizations, including:
• Project Concern International (PCI) – Carlyn was a very early and strong supporter of PCI, a non-profit medical organization that started in Hong Kong in 1962. Carlyn's interest in PCI was inspired by Dr. Dennis Wong, a pharmacy graduate of UCSF. She enlisted dental students to do volunteer work in PCI in a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. Carlyn served for many years on PCI's San Francisco Bay Area Committee giving generously of her time, talents and financial support.
• Randall Museum - The Randall Museum sparked Carlyn's interest in many areas. She donated 20 microscopes that are currently in use by children in the science classes. Carlyn often manned the box office for The Randall Young People's Teen Musical Theatre Company. After she retired from that volunteer position, she continued to support the group with her attendance, always bringing friends to enjoy the productions.
• Center for Learning in Retirement - A member of CLIR since 2001, Carlyn served many terms on the leadership Council, taught popular classes, organized annual retreats at Asilomar, and supported the organization in many ways. Her infectious smile and enthusiasm enlivened many an event.
• Breathe California - Carlyn was a recipient of the Strobel Research fund, administered by the San Francisco Tuberculosis and Health Association supporting her work on tuberculosis. In 1971, she joined the Board of Directors of that organization where she served for 17 years. Dr. Halde was an officer and on several committees, including Lung Disease; (anti) Smoking and Fund-raising. In 2007, she returned to Breathe California Golden Gate Public Health Partnership (the current name of the organization) to again serve on the Board. She continued to assist with fund raising and helped organize the 100th Anniversary Party. She was the "star" of a video, discussing the organization and her arrangements to leave a legacy gift. The video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JVZaFtKHWY
. A loyal supporter for over 40 years, Carlyn Halde truly worked to make the world a better place.
• American Society for Microbiology (ASM) – long time member and benefactor. At the national level established scholarships for students and international microbiologists to attend annual meetings of the ASM. At the regional level established the Carlyn Halde Fund, which provides support for lectures on Mycology at annual meetings of the Northern California branch of ASM. Carlyn also devoted her time and efforts helping to organize meetings and events of the NCASM.
• Member of the Society of Women Geographers - An organization of women drawn together by their passion for learning and adventure. Their mission is to add to the world's knowledge, and to support other women who do.
• San Francisco Public Library – Carlyn was a well-known volunteer in the book sale room at the Main Library. A volunteer for over 9 years, Carlyn not only sold books, she bought many books, which she generously gave to friends and organizations.
• Nature in the City – Carlyn was instrumental is supporting the Green Hairstreak Butterfly corridor in the Hawk Hill Park area of the City. Just last year her support initiated the groundbreaking on the Adah Bakalinsky Steps, which will be a migratory bird haven blocks from Carlyn's home.
Carlyn was also passionate about water conservation - as anyone who has seen 'Wet", a film by Marina Shoupe on YouTube - can attest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qbkYHFd7Ww
Carlyn has inspired many students, associates, friends, and family with her enthusiasm, energy, generosity, curiosity, and her genuine interest in helping others - which she demonstrated with action. She will be missed by her family, friends and she will be remembered. Those of us who were lucky to know her feel enriched that we did.
Carlyn was preceded in death by her father, Carl Halde; mother, Hester Halde; and brother, Thomas Halde. She is survived by nieces Janice McClure (Michael) of Meridian Idaho, Susan Butterworth of Marysville, California, Carol Patrick (Russell Simmons) of Sandy, Utah, great-nephew Brian McClure of Meridian, Idaho, great-nieces Heather Kurth (Joseph) of Nampa, Idaho and Tara Butterworth-Brown (Nicholas) of Portland, Oregon, and great great-niece Sophia Kurth of Nampa, Idaho.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Jul. 25 to Jul. 27, 2014.