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Love of science leaves a legacy

Wasco High School Alumni Francisco Javier Baltazar passed away in the early morning of April 16. He was born Dec. 5, 1989, and from a young age was in love with science.

His mother, Priscilla Baltazar, said, "He loved learning, he always pushed himself to be the best."

Francisco was co-valedictorian of the 2008 graduating class. He had big dreams, and in order to accomplish them he left Wasco shortly after graduation at age 17.

He attended UC Davis to obtain his bachelor's degree in physics and San Francisco State University to earn his masters. While living in San Francisco, he was part of a startup scientific research company pioneering an artificial kidney.

Mateo DeLeon, his closest friend, said, "He always wanted to make a contribution to science, to make a change."

The lives changed by Francisco were phenomenal. "He was so many things, to so many people. Everyone he came across he impacted."

Francisco's family said that he did not consider his friends, friends, but he considered them family.

Priscilla said her fondest memory is when he lived in San Francisco. "I would visit. He would take me around the city sightseeing. He always loved when his family would come visit."

Francisco's family said that if you spoke with his friends they would all say he was an inspiration. "He was selfless, kind and generous, helping people was his lifelong dream."

The family hopes that the research that Francisco took part in developing the artificial kidney would soon be successful and make a great change. "If this kidney takes off his legacy will be continued through this discovery," his mother said.

Throughout high school Francisco's dream was to attend Stanford University, applying his senior year. Although he did not get accepted at the time it did not stop him from accomplishing his dreams.

Before his passing he was accepted to Stanford in March. He was going to earn his PhD in quantum physics. Francisco also was a researcher at UC Berkeley, developing an air pollution sensor; he was both an educator and scientist.

Priscilla said, "I'm so proud to have Frankie as my son.".

Francisco broke the barrier of dream and reality by accomplishing his goals. Francisco was a first generation Mexican-American, his mother was born in Michoacan, Mexico.

Francisco was featured during Hispanic heritage month by M.H. Family Counseling and Consulting in October.

Priscilla said that Francisco owed his success to his grandfather, Faustino Diaz.

"It's sad that Wasco had to lose such a great person," Priscilla said.

Advice Francisco would give to younger generations aspiring to follow their dreams was, according to his mother, "Never ever doubt yourself and your capabilities, find your passion and put in the work to achieve your goals."

"He's a kid from a small town, who accomplished greatness," Priscilla said.

Support for the family is welcomed by making a donation to Basham & Lara Funeral Care by calling 661-746-4200 or donating to their GoFundme page by searching Francisco Javier Baltazar.


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