Roberta Fenlon—CHS Hall of Honor

A current Clinton High School student or 2020 graduate has researched and written the following article about one of the 2020-21 Hall of Honor inductees.  The induction ceremony will occur on Friday, April 16, at Clinton High School.


Roberta Fenlon

Professional Career Accomplishments

By Nevaeh Wagoner

Roberta Fenlon was born on June 13th, 1911, in Camanche, Iowa. She graduated from the Clinton High School in 1929, with an exceptional amount of success achieved throughout her life as a remarkable local San Francisco physician. Ms. Fenlon was active in multiple state and national medical associations and organizations. After graduating from Clinton High School, Ms. Fenlon earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University as well as her Master of Science in bacteriology from the University of Iowa Medical School. After obtaining these degrees, Fenlon moved west for an internship at the San Francisco General Hospital and earned her residency at the University of California.  Dr. Fenlon began private practice in internal medicine in 1945. She also was a professor of clinical medicine until the early 1980’s at the University of California. She continued her practice with offices in San Francisco for 42 years, until her death.

Roberta Fenlon led the way in female medical achievement within her time. In 1964, she was the first and only woman elected to the California Medical Council (CMA), later becoming president in 1971. Fenlon assisted the CMA’s response to state and federal legislation regarding the expansion of public services for health care and compensation for medical services in California. She also was the first woman to serve on the board of directors of Pacific Telephone and Telegraph company and was long-time director of the Public Health League and director of Blue Shield of California. In 1980, Fenlon received the University of California in San Francisco Charlotte Baer award for outstanding contributions to teaching. She received many such like honors for her teaching from the American Society of Internal Medicine, the Heart Association, and the San Francisco Examiner. She was the president of the Florence Crittenton Home Board the San Francisco Heart Association, San Francisco Cancer Society, and the Health Health Council of California. She also served on the alma mater board of directors at the University of Iowa, as well as the alumni board and foundation. She was honored by the University of Iowa on three different occasions as a distinguished graduate, internist, and alumnus.

Although I could not speak with Ms. Fenlon personally, her success has not gone unnoticed at Clinton High School. She was nominated by Marty Ray, because Ms. Fenlon’s success after graduating from Clinton High was extraordinary. By leading the way in female medical achievements while being a local and remarkable physician in San Francisco, Roberta Fenlon is a great example of being successful after graduation from CHS.

Due to the pandemic, the Clinton High School Hall of Honor induction was postponed last year. The district is now planning to honor this strong class of inductees on Friday, April 16 at Clinton High School. The public will be invited for the luncheon and induction speech portion of the day. Social distancing, face coverings, and sanitation routines will be required.

The Clinton High School culinary students will cater the luncheon. Inductees will be guests of the Hall of Honor Committee. The luncheon will cost $10 per other attendees. Main entrees are Lasagne Al Forno (Italian Beef Lasagna) or Chicken Parmigiana (Chicken Parmesan). If you are interested in attending, please contact Deb Deters at

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