She was born August 10, 1944 in Quincy, Massachusetts, the daughter of Lawrence and Teresa Forde, and lived in Quincy until 1989. She said that she learned to walk by holding on to the tail of the family Newfoundlander dog, Beauty, whose devotion evoked in her a life-long love of dogs that continued through Tuffy, Maude, Sophie, Lazarus, Isis, Cesar, and Daisy.
After graduating from Quincy High School, where she was class valedictorian, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Emmanuel College, and a Master’s Degree from Boston College, where her particular interest was Irish literature.
Following a year teaching at Holyoke Jr. College, in September, 1969 she joined the staff of Braintree High School as an English teacher, and continued in that position until health issues forced her retirement some 40 years later in 2009. Known for her energy, enthusiasm, and wit, Pam was perennially voted “favorite teacher” by the students. For many years, one of her assignments was teaching the junior year of Braintree’s Humanities honors program, partnering with various history teachers, including Louis George, John W. LeRoy, Jr., Mary Moran, and Ahmed Raiss. Students often sought her out for help with their college application essays, where her method was to discourage cliché and ask Socratic questions of the students until she evoked topics about which they could write meaningfully and purposefully. At one point, a guidance counsellor joked to Pam that she had been “admitted” at least once to every Ivy League college in America, and other schools as well.
She also taught summer school, and evening courses. During her years in Braintree she served as yearbook advisor, National Honor Society advisor, and co-chair of the high school reevaluation committee. She did public relations work for the high school, and was Vice President for Public Relations for the Braintree Education Association.
Pam was a voracious reader, and a skillful writer. She read with great speed and comprehension, prompting her husband to remark that in the time it took him to read sixty pages of a novel, she could read the whole book and be on to the next one. She had a taste for mystery novels, and in particular enjoyed the Louise Penny “Inspector Gamache” series. She also liked light opera, in particular Gilbert & Sullivan.
As a younger woman, she liked to walk and to travel, and enjoyed trips to Alaska and Hawaii. She and her husband celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a trip to Tuscany, during which the airline mislaid for days the luggage of virtually everyone in their party of twenty—except for Pam’s.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by two beloved sisters, Melanie Forde and Valerie Forde-Galvin, both of Virginia, by a number of nieces and nephews, many friends, and by Piper, the most recent of her well-loved dogs.
In keeping with the Covid-19 guidelines, which include face coverings, social distancing and wait times in line due to temporary limited capacity, visiting hours will be held on Monday, October 5th, from 4:00 -8:00 PM at the Cartwright Funeral Home, 69 So. Franklin St. (RT. 37), Holbrook. A graveside service and burial will take place on Tuesday, October 6th at 11:00 AM in Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree. All are invited to attend the burial. Funeral procession will form at the Funeral Home at 10:00 AM.
A post-Covid memorial service is tentatively scheduled for August, 2021, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Brockton, where Pam was a member and had served on the church council.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Pam’s memory may be made to the Milton Animal League, 181 Governor Stoughton Lane, Milton, MA 02186.
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