Pam Ralston summited her final adventure and passed away May 3, 2019 at the age of 70.
She was loved and treasured by her husband of 23 years, Don Newsham, sons Robin and Lee Ewing, his wife Lily, step daughter Kelsey Newsham, her fiance' Sheldon Baerg, granddaughter Kayla Rance, her husband Kyle and great grandson Jackson, granddaughter Claudia Ewing-Maines, brother John Ralston and sister-in-law Paula, the families of niece Meaghan Pack and nephew Tim Ralston, and the Clark and Ralston cousins. She was predeceased by her very loved mother Jean (Moanie) in 1999 and her father Bill in 2001.
Pam was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November 2018 and died in comfort after a short stay at St Michael’s hospice in New Westminster.
Pam was kind and caring. A smiling social worker, gardener, traveller and role model to many. She had a profound impact on family, friends, colleagues, and her community. Her work housing the homeless and caring for the aged was highly appreciated and esteemed.
The Workers Compensation Board, Glenrose Hospital, Red Deer Regional Hospital and Region, the City of Red Deer, and Vancouver Native Housing Society all benefited from her diligence, dedication, hard work and engaging manner. With a mid-life Masters in Health Promotion, she continued her life-long passion of helping people of all ages and abilities. She fought for those less fortunate through her work and volunteering, and for the environment through every day actions. She encouraged those around her to do the same.
Pam collected friends. Across Alberta, B.C., Western Canada, Ottawa, Indonesia and elsewhere, friends count it a joy and special privilege to have known and shared life with the wise owl Pam. Her recent volunteer work at Skwachàys Gallery was particularly fun and important. She engaged visitors at conference tradeshows and the gallery, discussing the cultural and artistic talent of Indigenous artists from Vancouver and around the world.
Pam and her husband, girlfriends and family members were avid orienteers, hikers, skiers and bikers. Pam was a dedicated orienteer for years, competing in Alberta, B.C., the Yukon, and Sweden. She completed over 25 backpacking trips, and numerous day hikes and weekend back cross-country ski trips, many after she turned 45. Pam was both a leader and rearguard of the pack. She always made it up, down, and around the mountain, no matter the speed. She hiked through the Rockies, Turkey, England, Wales, and New Zealand. Two hiking highlights were climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in 2008 and completing the 150 kilometer Tour du Mt Blanc, just last year. A bucket list biking tour in Provence was a fitting finish to her travels.
Her personal passions were family get-together's, making memories with her children and grandchildren, and loving nature and the forest. She was a volunteer always at the ready, a reader of great books, a green thumb with her flower garden, and a teammate with her Don for Christmas, BBQ parties and Sunday family meals. She was a maker of music at drumming circles, a curler and lawn bowler, and an appreciator of her special animals; the humming bird, eagle, and moose. Pam had a special presence wherever and with whomever she went.
She was a picture of grace and fortitude. She was thoughtful, accepting and inspiring, a treasure and a gift. She will always remain in the hearts and minds of her family and friends.
A memorial service and celebration of Pam’s life – Pam’s Day, will be held on June 20, 2019, at 2 pm at the Glen brook Park Amenities Centre, in New Westminster B.C. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Pancreas Center BC or the BC Cancer Foundation.