Pamela Thoms, 67, of Lyons, NY, passed away on Tuesday January 5th, 2020 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. She was surrounded by love with her husband of 48 years, Michael Thoms, at her side when she passed along with their son Ethan. Her daughter Erin and son-in-law Cory as well as grandchildren Brady, Ally, and Julia were with her by phone along with her son Andrew and daughter-in-law Maite.
Pam was born on January 13th, 1953, at the hospital in Lyons to parents Francis Curtis and Eleanor (Mae) Curtis. She grew up on Spencer Street in the village of Lyons with her sister Patty Lou and brother Chad. After her mother passed away when Pam was a young girl, she was lovingly cared for by her maternal Grandmother Ada Harrington Nordblom and Step-Grandfather Scout Nordblom.
When Pam was 12, she used the pen-pal registry through the First Lutheran Church to write to Joan Davies in England. They became close through pen-pal correspondence and developed a life-long friendship that lasted for over 56 years. Pam visited Joan in England and was part of her wedding. Joan also came to Lyons for Pam’s wedding and was her maid of honor. Over the years, they had many visits and continued correspondence. Joan hosted Pam’s son Andy when he studied abroad in Chester, England and Joan visited Lyons on multiple occasions to be part of family events and activities.
Pam graduated from Lyons Jr-Sr. High School in 1971. Her yearbook quote was “The most wasted day of all is that in which we have not laughed.”
Pam was married to Michael Thoms on October 21, 1972 at the First Lutheran Church on Broad Street in Lyons. They initially lived on Van Marter Lane in Lyons, then at 7745 Debusse Road, and most recently on Butternut Street. Their first son Andrew was born in 1975, daughter Erin in 1979, and son Ethan in 1991.
Pam was full of life and always active. She was a caring, engaged, and attentive mother and organized endless projects, activities, vacations, home projects, and social events where she brought people together to smile, laugh, bond, and create memories. She enjoyed camping and organized trips to state-parks throughout NY State and especially enjoyed spending time at Wellesley Island State park in the 1000 Islands region and winter get-aways to visit her father in Florida and take her kids to theme parks, natural springs, and beaches. She enjoyed spending her summers with her children, nieces and nephews, friends then grandchildren by the pool. Pam was game for just about anything, and even though she was raised as a “town-girl,” she took to life in the country and became a 4H leader and with the family raised beef cattle, chickens, dogs, cats, gardened, canned vegetables, kept the home heated with cordwood, and even tolerated a basement full of muskrat pelts during the early ‘80s when fur prices were high and the extra income paid for gas and vacations. Pam was entrepreneurial and talented as an artist. Her cake decorating business made birthdays and anniversaries special for many people in Lyons in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As a mother, Aunt, and Nana, Pam was tireless and provided every opportunity she could for her children, nieces and nephews and grandchildren. She supported plays and sports, hosted birthday parties, drove kids to camps, helped in college applications, drove the kids wherever they needed to go, and taught them a strong work ethic and love of life. Pam loved to travel and in her life visited England and Wales, kayaked in Alaska, explored the beaches of Hawaii, ventured into the highlands of Guatemala, and toured the National Parks of the American West with her husband. She planned yearly vacations with her grandchildren to Florida to bring extended family together instilling the importance of family; a legacy we will all strive to continue. She also provided care for many elders and was an active volunteer at the First Lutheran Church.
Pam worked for over 30 years at the Lyons Elementary School as the principal’s secretary. She developed life-long friendships with many of her colleagues and helped many young teachers get their start in Lyons and helped them become part of the community. She looked out for many of the kids that came through the elementary school office and in her role, was an active part of the community. She was always eager to be a booster for Lyons. In her retirement, she spent winters in Florida but would never walk away from the spring, summer, and fall in Lyons, NY.
When Pam was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she didn’t let it stop her from continuing her active lifestyle. She took up boxing as part of her therapy, walked daily, and did weight training and exercise 7-days a week. Her gardening and craft projects went into overdrive and the flower-stand of flower arrangements from her garden cuttings on Butternut street always sold out with proceeds benefiting the Parkinson’s Foundation. Despite the side effects of Parkinson's, Pam never lost the ability to perfect her flower arrangements. She kept a beautiful decorated welcoming home and continued to host and bring friends and family together. She was active and lived everyday to the absolute fullest that she could right up until she died.
Pam is preceded in death by her father Francis Curtis, mother Eleanor (Mae) Curtis, and grandmother Ada (Scout) Nordblom. She is survived by her husband Michael of Lyons; sister Patty Lou (Don) Hunter of Canada Brother Chad (Becky) Curtis of Florida and husband Michael of Lyons; her son Andy (Maite Lorente) Thoms of Sitka, Alaska, daughter Erin (Cory) Graupman; grandchildren Brady, Ally, and Julia of Hilton NY; son Ethan (Ariel) Thoms of Lyons, NY; nephew Sean (Tammy) Rodriguez; children Alex and Samantha, and niece Beth (Bruce) Chambers; children Kamryn, Mason, Owen and Ace.
The way that Pam gave so much of herself to others made her a great friend to many people. She will be dearly missed by the many people whose lives she not only touched, but deeply influenced and shaped. Pam organized fundraisers to fight against Parkinson’s disease and help improve the lives of those afflicted, produce treatments, and work to find a cure. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in honor of Pam to the Parkinson’s Foundation .
A memorial service will be held for friends and family when Pam’s flowers are in full bloom.