Evelyn Lenore Gardner Ballard de Ghetaldi
August 18, 1919 - December 28, 2017
Evelyn Lenore Gardner Ballard de Ghetaldi, age 98, passed away peacefully on December 28, 2017. A long-time resident of Daly City, Evelyn was a devoted physician and educator, a nurturing activist, and a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She is survived by her five children, Charles Ballard, Anne Bergsman, Dario de Ghetaldi, Laura (Laurie) de Ghetaldi, and Larry de Ghetaldi, as well as 24 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest Gardner and Agnes Borg, her eleven siblings, her first husband Francis "Fritz" Edgar Ballard, and her second husband Guido Oscar de Ghetaldi, Jr., who passed away in 2006 just shy of their 60th wedding anniversary.
Evelyn was born on August 18, 1919, in Maltby, Washington, and attended Kirkland High School where she was named valedictorian in 1935. Evelyn received her bachelor's degree from San Francisco State College in 1941 (Phi Beta Kappa) and her medical degree from Stanford in 1946 (AOA), where she was one of only two women in the graduating class, which was Stanford's female quota at the time. In 1946, Evelyn was hired to run the Student Health Service at San Francisco State where she later taught classes.
Outside of teaching and medicine, Evelyn was also very committed to public service, always striving to make the world a better and more just place. She served two terms on the San Mateo County Grand Jury including one term as Chair. She became the national president of Camp Fire Girls in 1975 and one of her proudest accomplishments was to lead a pioneering effort to expand membership eligibility to boys and rename the organization "Camp Fire." Evelyn worked tirelessly to help protect and defend the environment and was one of the founders and Board Members of Action for Nature, an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping global youth promote respect and affection for nature through personal action. Evelyn was also an active board member of other organizations, including San Francisco State's Institutional Review Board and its Friends of the Library, the California State Retired Public Employees Association, the National Forest Homeowners Association, and the Lake Kirkwood Association.
With her passing, she leaves behind countless wonderful memories and a lasting impact on those whose lives she has touched. Her story is one of strength, compassion, and equality. She sought to empower young people, especially young women, to dream, to have lofty hopes, and to not be bound by societal voices that sought to dim or constrain those dreams.
A celebration of her life will be held later this spring. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Action for Nature, Camp Fire, or a charity of one's choice
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 20 to Feb. 25, 2018.