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Gayle Ward

October 23, 1948 ~ June 1, 2018 (age 69)

Gayle Ward Azevedo, 69, of Carmel Valley, passed away, Friday, June 1, 2018, at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula, surrounded by her adoring family, loyal friends and dedicated medical team, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in San Francisco on October 23, 1948, Gayle spent her early youth in Greenbrae, north of the Golden Gate, in Marin County. In 1964, she moved to Carmel with her parents, Randy and Virginia Ward, and sister Barb Ward. After graduating from Carmel High, Gayle proceeded to Cal State, San Jose, graduating in 1970 with a degree in Sociology. After a short stint as a juvenile probation officer with Santa Clara County, Gayle continued her education, completing a masters program at Cal State, Chico, in Juvenile Justice. By 1974, she had returned to the Monterey Peninsula, and worked briefly for the Monterey County Probation Department.
Gayle started her legendary career as a foster care and adoption social worker in 1975, after joining the staff at Children's Home Society. In the early 1980's, Gayle became an integral part of the founding team that established Kinship Center, headquartered in Salinas, receiving the prestigious Congressional Angels of Adoption Award in 2010. During her career, she became an expert Master Trainer for parents and professionals, writing and teaching curricula regarding family permanency and adoption in California, as well as teaching nationally. Gayle worked at Kinship Center as a senior social worker until her passing. Her gift for championing child protection and advocacy, and her endlessly generous heart, aided countless infants, preteens and teens, and many "grown ups," with life's difficult familial challenges. Many will agree that Gayle saved many lives along the way, and was instrumental in creating hundreds of beautiful families.
Gayle was active in many local groups, clubs and organizations. She loved to share time with her friends and family, putter in her garden, care for and ride her horses, cook, write poems, and read. Most of all, Gayle was extremely proud of her family, and she cherished attending celebrations or sporting events, especially those involving her "exceptional" grandkids. Gayle was famous for her big personality, curly auburn hair and wicked sense of humor. She resided in Carmel Valley for over forty years.
Gayle leaves behind her amazing husband, Pete, her sweet Border Collie Lucy, daughter Jessica Phillips, son Michael Phillips, grandchildren Carter and Myla Hayes, and Riley and Charlotte Phillips, sister Barb Ward Smith, brother in law Brooks, niece Renee, nephew Russ, daughter in laws Rachel and Andrea, son in law Rob, step sons Christian and Kelly, step-grandchildren Ben, Ryan, Cameron and Annabelle, cousins, and a host of colleagues and friends, far and wide.
A Celebration of Life barbeque is being planned for August 19, 2018 at 1:00pm, at the Carmel Valley Community Center, Please RSVP to: leighcecka@gmail.com. Donations in Gayle's name may be made to Kinship Center Adoptions Program 124 River Rd. Salinas, Ca 93908
Finally, Gayle's family would like to thank her medical team at Pacific Cancer Care, C.H.O.M.P. and all her loyal friends and coworkers that stepped up and did their utmost to support and care for Gayle, and her family, through this difficult battle. You are all angels, in our eyes!

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