Pamela Lynn Chestnut
Nov. 19, 1951-April 7, 2021
Pamela Lynn Chestnut died peacefully, surrounded by friends, family, love, and light, in the wee hours of the morning on April 7, 2021, just as a light rain began to fall, in Astoria, OR. After a few years challenged by ovarian cancer and its effects, she is finally at rest and at ease, and surely enjoying a regained freedom and wholeness that she lacked in her final time on Earth.
Pam is survived by her beloved daughter, Erin, of Astoria; two dear brothers, Ron and Vince, of Petaluma and Magalia, CA, respectively; four noteworthy nieces and nephews, Robin, Ryan, Shane, and Sarah; two exceptional cats, Punkin and Mimi; one amazing dog, Lady; and multitudes of lovely, interesting, and devoted friends and relations.
Pam grew up in San Diego, CA, and graduated high school in Lodi, eventually making her way to Pleasanton, where she met her handsome, kind husband of a few years, Bart, who would help her create her life’s work, their daughter. She spent many years as a well-respected escrow officer before leaving her career to go to college in 2000, something she’d always wanted to do. She chose Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, because of her love of the area from the many vacations she and her daughter had enjoyed camping in the redwoods over the years. After receiving her BA, Pam enrolled at the College of the Redwoods to earn her AA in Historic Preservation and Restoration. The skills she learned there were used to many homes’ and homeowners’ delights after she moved to Astoria in 2008 to be with her daughter.
Pam was always active in the community of Astoria, from her work on the board of the Lower Columbia Preservation Society to the classes she both took and taught at CCC, to her attendance at many and most art, music, and community events and gatherings. Everywhere she went, people knew and loved her; she always had a smile and a hello or brief conversation or silly encounter for everyone she happened upon. She made most everyone feel welcome and loved wherever she went, as she truly loved people. She participated in (and often was the instigator of) innumerable uncontrollable laughing fits with friends and family over her lifetime. The Fort George Brewery, where her daughter has worked for 13 years, holds a special place in their hearts for her, as she always brightened every gathering. Her impersonation of a sea lion singing a song at a company camp-out’s talent show will remain a fond and hilarious memory in so many hearts and minds.
Her passion for preserving old windows and restoring historical features in homes will hopefully resound in the community for years to come. So many homeowners in the area are privileged to have her touch on their homes as a lasting legacy! She loved traveling near and far, was an avid reader, and an even more avid chocolate and ice cream lover. She absolutely adored children and would get right down on the ground with them and enter their world happily and readily. She loved watching movies; her all-time favorite was Moonstruck – she knew every line. Her red truck, Braveheart, was a loved one, and made her easily recognizable everywhere she went. She was an excellent seamstress, a natural in the garden, a lover of architecture and house plans, a natural born yogi, a skilled artist.
Pam was “so full of life and fun to be around”, “such a beautiful and sweet person”, “so very special”, and had a “beauty, calm spirit, and silliness” that will be so missed. She was a “truly remarkable woman and friend”, “a blessing” and “a gem”, and had a “warm smile and optimistic spirit” [comments from dear ones after her passing]. She was the best mom a girl could wish for, best friend a person could make, and best example a human could have in kindness and generosity and lightness and fun. She will be missed so very much, but those of us closest to her vow to take on these qualities in ourselves to keep her spirit alive (and please join us!). Pam-ma, Pam-la, Pammy, Pamma-Lamma, Auntie Pam Sir!, Pam Chestnut!, Momma: we will miss you! Thank you for everything always, and mostly for making us smile and laugh and remember to keep the silliness alive no matter our age or circumstance.