Bayard W. Allmond Jr., a behavioral pediatrician and family therapist, died of cancer on July 18, in the Berkeley home where he and his family began living in 1969. He was 87. Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, he there attended public schools, which his family strongly believed in. He graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
He trained in general and behavioral pediatrics at the University of Rochester, joined the faculty there, and later the faculty at the University of California San Francisco. During a two-year stint with the U.S. Public Health Service in the mid-‘60s, Bayard moved the family to Atlanta and worked for the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC was combating an outbreak of polio in gorillas at the Yerkes Primate Center, and Bayard was involved in researching whether they could be vaccinated for it — they could. He then went on to administer the vaccines to the gorillas. Although very different from the rest of his life’s path as a behavioral pediatrician, he loved this experience.
At UCSF, he was mentored by Helen Gofman, MD, and Wilma Buckman, MSW, with whom he eventually co-wrote The Family Is the Patient (1979), a cornerstone work in the foundation of behavioral pediatrics. At UCSF he, in turn, mentored many dozens of pediatricians-in-training and was the director of Helen and Wilma’s groundbreaking Child Study Unit for several years before creating a private practice in family therapy at his home. His patients were the focus of his life, and his practice was his life’s work.
Bayard’s interests were many. He had a lifelong love of the Delaware shore. He was inexplicably fond of six (consecutive) Siamese cats. He loved classic cinema — his favorite probably being Harvey with Jimmy Stewart— and had an encyclopedic knowledge of old movies that was un-stumpable. A talented player of the Great American Songbook on piano, he was also an enthusiast of jazz and Irish traditional music. A fascination with genealogy and history inspired him to research and map the Allmond and Webster family trees. He was an expert gardener, painstakingly nurturing his home’s 1908 garden and keeping it original, and volunteering in the gardens on Alcatraz Island. He even took UC Berkeley extension courses and became certified in Landscape Design. A dedicated preservationist, he bought and restored a 1790 Methodist meeting house in Lewes, DE, earning it “historic landmark” status (with then-Sen. Joe Biden signing the designation approval), and volunteering for years at the historic 1882 Cohen-Bray house in Oakland. He supported many progressive and environmental causes: Doctors Without Borders, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Sierra Cub, Nature Conservancy, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association; and cultural institutions such as California Jazz Conservatory and Berkeley Repertory Theater. He assumed the mantle of family chef and baker in the early ‘90s, experimented assiduously, and got darn good at cooking and baking.
Bayard was preceded in death by his parents, Edna Pierson Allmond and Bayard W. Allmond, Sr., and by his brother, Charles M. Allmond. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Nancy Webster Allmond; by their two sons, Walton Bayard Allmond of Taos, New Mexico, and John Peckworth Allmond (Peck) of Brooklyn, New York; and by Peck’s wife, Ina Paris, of Brooklyn.
Bayard loved his wife, his sons, his daughter-in-law, and his sixth Siamese, Bernie. Nancy, Ina and Peck did heroic work as his caretakers during the last 16 months of his life and felt blessed to have that time with him. He is beloved and remembered by them; by friends from as far back as first grade; by former patients, students, and colleagues; and by Allmond and Pierson relatives across the nation. Donations can be made in his name to any of the organizations mentioned above.