Remembering Pam George

May 26, 2012
Pam was my first friend when we moved to Colorado. It seemed instantaneous, as though it had been concocted in advance and just needed the last ingredient of actually meeting to be complete.
I have a feeling that Pam was a first friend to lots of people. She has the knack of making others feel interesting, and entertaining and important. I don’t think it was possible for one full minute to go by in an average conversation with Pam without her laughing. So, for an average length conversation with Pam George, that’s about 180 incidents of laughter per conversation.
My son Chris loves her so much, when he was mad at me, he always told me he was going to run away to the Georges. I told Pam about that one time and she laughed and said “Send him over. He’ll be back pretty soon when he finds out that I’m not that nice.”
But he never did find it out. Nor did I. The younger boys stayed with the Georges while we went on our house hunting trip to OK. That only made it even harder for them to leave Colorado.
Pam was the first to deliver a bench baby. (See earlier post about Jeffrey Meacham.) She guessed I was pregnant with Thomas before the test was fully dry. She figured it out when she announced her own pregnancy and saw the look on my husband’s face. Nobody has a nose for news like Pam’s.
She calls herself nosy and it’s true. She’d ask bold questions that everyone wanted to ask but was too shy. But she was fun to tell ‘my business’ to, because she was so vitally interested. She actually wanted to HEAR the details of my news. I always knew what a rare friend she was.

I was thinking about Pam yesterday afternoon. I remembered a promise that I made her when she heard that my first book was about to be published. She said, “When you go on Oprah, you’ll have to take me with you.” I promised her I would. So as I pulled weeds, I mused on the fact that I’d have to make it up to her by taking her on a book tour when the time comes, since Oprah no longer has her show. It’s the kind of promise I’d LOVE to keep!
Pam is a gifted teacher. She meets her students where they are without worrying about where they “should” be. She would have made the ultimate kindergarten teacher.
She adjusts herself to those around her. Her living room was full of Precious Moments figurines and her husband’s taxidermied trophies.
But as relaxed and unworried as she always seemed, she ran the book fair at Wolford Elementary like a seasoned business woman. Her favorite calling in the (Mormon) Church is to teach the three-year-old Sunbeams, but she’s been an outstanding Primary president and later, seminary teacher and lots of other things, too. She did well with everything she undertook.

If you want to draw Pam’s ire, just do something harmful, hurtful, or wrong against an innocent person, especially a child. She wasn’t laughing then. Jesus said that those who harm “his little ones,” would be better off drowned in the depths of the sea with a millstone around their necks. If I’d harmed a child, I’d rather have the millstone than Pam around my neck!
Pam was proud of her family. You could see the tenderness in her face as she looked at one of them. They seemed to be the one subject that she worried about.
Pam fills a happy place in my heart.
But Pam’s heart gave out yesterday. She woke with what she thought was indigestion and by evening, died of a massive heart attack.
I laid awake all night, thinking of her, alternating between smiles and tears and prayers for her family. I wonder about the strange phenomenon that brought me to muse about her just hours before her death.
My friend Pam is another one that I will rejoice to see when the time comes. She’ll laugh and say, “How did you get here?” And I’ll have to tell her the details and she’ll tell me all the latest on our mutual friends that live in the Paradise neighborhood.
Or perhaps I’ll be caught up into the air to meet the Lord and his attendant angels. She’ll be in His entourage. She has been for years.
We’ll miss you, Friend, until we meet again.

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  • Reply Tricia Stephenson May 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I knew Sister George mostly during the time I was a young woman (12-18). She always took a lot of interest in talking to me (more than most adults did) and made me feel like a friend. We'll all have to work extra hard so that the world's friendliness level doesn't take a significant plunge with Pam's passing.

  • Reply Lillian Godwin May 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    You described her perfectly, I love Pam! She was also one of my very first friends when we moved into Black Forest Ward. She was always so fun to spend time with and a great friend who was always there to listen and advise. My husband and I used to host "game night" at our home from time to time. We would try to have a few different people each time but Pam & Gary were always on the top of the list. Pam's laughter and Their sense of humor made it a great party! I was just thinking about her and Gary last week and planning to spend some time with them on our next trip to CO in a couple of weeks. I will miss her so much.

  • Reply Janet June 11, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Beth I am Pam's sister and this describes Pam perfectly what a nice tribute for my sister. She has some great friends. We miss her so much and still can't believe she is not with us but because of the Plan of Salvation we know we will see her again someday. Thanks again!

    Janet Traylor

  • Reply Beth M. Stephenson August 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I still can't get used to the idea that Pam's gone. She's one I'll look forward to embracing when my time comes. She was a good friend.

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