Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rudy Gallardo

Dr. Rudy Gallardo, beloved Orange County orthopedic surgeon, passed at his retirement beach home in La Salina, Mexico, on Dec. 17, 2008. He was 77; arrhythmia led to a heart attack.

Dr. Gallardo had offices in Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Irvine and Mammoth Lakes, Calif. He worked tirelessly at several area hospitals including Anaheim General, Fountain Valley and Irvine Medical Center. "Dr. Rudy" saved many lives leading emergency trauma teams at those posts. He taught at U.C. Irvine and mentored emerging orthopedists—for which he received the Physician's Leadership Award and three humanitarian awards for his guidance of scholarship students.

An accomplished athlete (star center for Occidental College football team in early 1950s, on Oxy's track team, and a joyful surfer into his 70s), Dr. Gallardo volunteered as team sports physician for both Loara High School and Fullerton Junior College.

He was a private pilot and flying enthusiast his entire adult life, and helped his son, Scott, become a commercial airline pilot. He was an air show aficionado and spent his retirement years skimming over the Baja coastline in his ultralight plane.

Rudolfo Victor Gallardo is survived by his wife, Patricia; his siblings Tony, Dodie, Eve, Lupe, John and Herman (sister Mary deceased); his children, Denise, Kevin, Kurt, Scott and stepson Shane; his grandchildren, Stacey, Stephen, Toni, Kevin Jr., Paul, Nathan, Max, Maggie, Emma, Lily and Andrew; and his great-grandson, Michael.

A memorial service was held Sunday, Jan. 25, at Harborside's Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach, Calif. Donations can be made in Dr. Gallardo's honor online to Doctors Without Borders; e-mail acknowledgement or notes to

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