A Tribute to Pam Machemer

“Why, that would be wonderful!”

These words describe Pam Machemer’s approach to life. She was a beloved presence on campus, always willing to take on new challenges and supporting her students, advisees, and fellow colleagues. As we celebrated Pam’s life during a memorial meeting for worship on Saturday, September 26, 2020 the outpouring of love and respect was a testament to her and the care she showed for all around her.

Pam’s former students and advisees echoed comments from her faculty colleagues—that Pam had a way to lovingly encourage people to do things they didn’t think they were capable of doing. Whether she was advising a student that yes, they would succeed in Paul Machemer’s math class, convincing a colleague that being a class sponsor is an important and rewarding role, advocating for a student that struggled at advisory council, encouraging a student to reach for their dream college, or cheering on the soccer team to victory, she was a role model and a second mother to many and had a profound impact on the people closest to her.

A graduate of Westtown, Pam became an active organizer of Paul’s George School’s Class of 1965 reunions, earning her the title of honorary member. Many classmates would be surprised when she reminded them she didn’t actually go to school with them as Pam was the one who kept up with corresponding with classmates, updated contact information, and recommended the best restaurants to host their reunion dinner.

Pam’s heart was her family. Paul was the love of her life and that love never diminished over the 49 years of married life they were blessed to share. Her children, Robert ’92 and Kate ’99, made the family complete. Pam was a devoted mother, always finding time to listen, have a laugh and of course, enjoy a great meal together. When Kerry (Robert’s wife) and grandchildren Athena and Arthur, and Karl (Kate’s husband) came along, the table got bigger and the joy increased.

The outpouring of messages and stories about how Pam impacted those around her is a powerful reminder that Pam lived the Quaker principle of ‘letting your life speak’ to the fullest. She will be deeply missed. Pam, thank you for being part of our lives.