In Remembrance of UAF friend Pam Turner by Elizabeth Alex


The words below were delivered at the celebration of life service for our long-time supporter, Pam.

I’m Elizabeth. My husband Alex and I lead the small but dedicated group that is determined to raise a houseful of Romanian kids until they are grown: strong, educated and able to live fulfilled lives.

Pam was part of our group; A key and special member of United Aid Foundation. Pam was family.

In fact, she became a mom to Cosmin and Costica- you’ll hear from them in a minute but I’d like to have all of the kids from Romania stand for just a moment… Marian, Georgiana and Denisia. You know she loved you too.

When I was thinking of how I might best describe Pam, it occurred that one of the kids said it best. The first time they visited  America she was worried because her house was small and not as nice as those the other kids would be staying in.  Costica said simply- “Small house. Big heart.” That was that.

Pam did have a huge heart for her family, her friends, our children, your neighbors kids, your sisters cat, your uncle’s dog- she truly cared about everyone.

She remembered details about acquaintances lives years after first speaking to them.  Her concern was genuine. And her generosity was as big as her heart.  If you needed anything or your child was raising money for school or sports- Pam should have been first on your list to hit up for donations!

If Pam felt someone was being mistreated, she instantly became a champion. She was steadfast and loyal,  happy to give a piece of her mind to anyone who had wronged a friend- including my former boss when she had the chance. When I was looking for a new job. she found time to research loads of positions sending me multiple links in hopes of helping me find just the right thing I would be happy with.

She wanted to be happy. She wanted everyone else to be happy too. She loved  to make people laugh and she had a disarming and endearing way of laughing at herself. Pam had a propensity for falling down. You just never knew when her legs would give out. I used to say “It’s not a party until Pam hits the ground.”The last time I saw her do that all the kids were around and rushed into help her up. She stood up with a laugh and a smile saying she didn’t know what the big deal was.

Pam had a mischievous streak- she loved corny jokes.. the goofy cat memes… and the videos of the dogs dressed as humans with human hands coming around to put food in its mouth. She used to text those things all the time despite my telling her to stop because she was clogging up my phone!  Now I wish she were here to send just one more joke about her nemesis President Trump.

She loved pot lucks and parties,  especially when they were with her friends at Truman Medical Center. If you guys don’t already know it she was touched beyond belief  by the shower you threw her to help set up house for Cosmin and Costica.

We had epic adventures in Romania with the people from Medical Missions Foundation- I remember Pam  jumping off a moving train, getting stuck in a communist-era elevator, and sharing a Stella or many Stellas on the terrace at the Hotel Maria following long days of volunteering in the OR or the with the kids at the house. Her career as a nurse and her time volunteering in Romania gave her so much joy.

I’ll miss those things. I’ll miss our almost daily talks about the kids, work, health care, politics, Special Olympics or the way we each grew up.

I’ll miss the new theater restaurant, starlight, bowling, family dinners and weekends at the lake. She was always game to drive down there with me, even if it was just the two of us.

Like all of us, Pam had her insecurities. She didn’t feel comfortable with compliments would most likely be a bit embarrassed by all the adulation this week.  But she had a serene spiritual faith. Pam believed she was a child of God and that she would one day be with her beloved dad in heaven.

More than anything else in this life she wanted to create a home for the boys and see them through high school and into adulthood. Tragically, we know her time with them was so much shorter than any of us dreamed. But despite that short time Pam left a legacy.

As I stood with the boys outside her house last Saturday morning and we were all struggling to grasp the fact she is gone, Cosmin looked at me and said, “Pam told us that in her next life she was going to have a bigger house for us. But we don’t want that. We love this house. Because she was here.”

That big heart made a home in that small house. And she made a difference in the world.  We will always love and cherish our dear friend Pam.

If you would like to support Cosmin and Costica please make a donation below. Your contribution will go directly to the boy’s school tuition.






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