Earla Gardner Aagaard, M.D., age 93, passed away at home on June 20, 2016, after a stroke. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Carl M.J. Aagaard, who passed away in 2008 after 65 years of marriage.
She is survived by her four children (Carla June [Aagaard] Martir, of Morehead; Earl M. J. Aagaard, of Chico, CA; Victor F. M. Aagaard, of Carmichael, CA; and Lola Jean [Aagaard] Boram, of Morehead; four grandchildren (Thorvald M. J. Aagaard, Laura Joy Elizabeth [Aagaard] Camacho, Helen Faye Boram, and Jonathan Spencer Boram); and three great grandchildren (Sophia Isabella Leslie Camacho, Alana Kristina Joy Camacho, Ethan Drake Salvator Camacho).
Earla Gardner was born on Dec. 5, 1922, in Bandung, Java, Dutch East Indies, where her parents (J. Earl and Ethel Gardner) were researching locations for a missionary hospital. When her parents began their medical work in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, she and her sister, June, attended the Convent Light School, and after leaving Malaya, the girls spent a year at what became the Adventist University in Collonges, France, becoming trilingual (French, Malay, and English). Earla graduated from high school (1938) in Visalia, California; and went to Pacific Union College (Angwin, California) at age 15, where she was later president of the Women of Graf and worked on the yearbook staff, graduating in 1942 with a major in modern languages, and minors in music, religion, and chemistry. She then attended the Berkeley Conservatory of Music briefly, leaving it for medical school and graduating from the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University School of Medicine), Loma Linda, California, in 1945. She married Carl M.J. Aagaard during a semester break in medical school, on March 15, 1943. After completing her internship, she accompanied Carl as he served out WWII as a physician in the US Army medical corps in New Mexico and San Francisco, CA. Following the completion of his military service, Carl practiced general medicine for several years, in Burlingame and Ukiah, California. During this period in Ukiah, Earla worked at the State Hospital in nearby Talmage, and it was here that her interest in psychiatry blossomed. The family returned to San Francisco in 1952 to pursue specialty training.
Earla completed her residency in psychiatry at the Langley Porter Institute, University of California, San Francisco; and Carl completed his pathology training; both in 1955. The family, now numbering five, moved back to Ukiah where their last child was born. Earla maintained a psychiatry practice for the next 41 years, sometimes full-time and sometimes not, depending on the demands of the family - including her four children and her aging parents, both of whom she took in and cared for before their deaths. She played an active role in the community, often volunteering time at the mental health clinic, as well as taking a Meals on Wheels route for a time and serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of Pacific Union College for a decade in the 1970s. Intensely private, she nevertheless regularly taught a Bible class at the Ukiah Seventh-day Adventist Church, specifically for the young mothers with children, with whom she felt a special bond. She also sang in the church choir, hosted many potluck lunches for visitors after church on Sabbath afternoons, and was a Pathfinder leader for the young people.
In 1996, at the age of 74, Carl and Earla retired and moved to the home they shared until his death in 2008, and where she resided until her own death. They came to Morehead, in order to be near their youngest daughter and the youngest grandchildren in the family. Earla was active in the Morehead Seventh-day Adventist church, volunteering to help staff the thrift store in Maysville, offering her home as the "fellowship hall" until the church expanded their facilities a decade later, and caring for Carl during his final illness.
She assisted her daughter Lola to juggle her full-time job and small children, delighting in Helen Faye and Jonathan, as she did with Thorvald and Laura, bringing her special mixture of "steel and marshmallow" to the task, as she had with her own four. Her bond with all of her children and grandchildren was unbroken even when tested sorely on occasion, and nothing of an earthly nature was more important to her than her family.
There will be a public memorial service for Earla at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals in Morehead on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. with Pastor Tony Kelley officiating. Visitation will begin at 3:30 p.m. Interment will be in the Hayes Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, friends and relatives are invited to make donations in her name to any of the following:
Morehead Seventh-day Adventist Church, 927 E. Main St., Morehead, KY 40351;
Hayes Crossing/Haldeman Volunteer Fire Department, P. O. Box 67, Morehead, KY 40351;
Christian Social Services, P. O. Box 147, Morehead, KY 40351;
Habitat for Humanity, P. O. Box 180, Morehead, KY 40351
View memorial tribute or sign guestbook at www.northcuttandson.com
Published on August 1, 2016