Pamela Jo Marshall
November 12, 1961 – April 24, 2020
With great sadness, we mourn the loss of our beautiful and beloved Pamela Jo, who passed away on Friday, April 24 due to Covid-19. From the very moment of her birth November 12, 1961, in a tiny clinic in Holly Grove, Arkansas, Pam was a fighter. While her father, Joe, and a dedicated nurse frantically drove the struggling infant 35 miles to the Helena, Arkansas hospital, the doctor who delivered her sadly warned Pam’s mother, Judy, that she should prepare herself for the strong possibility that Pam would not survive. Thankfully, he was wrong. As were any number of other “experts” who warned Joe and Judy over the years that their cherished daughter would not walk, talk, survive, or thrive. They were wrong, too. Pam survived. And more than thrived.
In 1967, after living in Arkansas, where Pam learned not only to walk and talk, but also to run and sing, Joe and Judy moved to Salem, Virginia. Pam, along with her older sister, Sherry, and younger brother Terry, were quickly adopted by the other children of their Decatur Drive neighborhood. Soon, Pam learned to swim, ride a bike, and participate in all of those other favored and fun childhood activities. She loved to play dolls, endless innings of “street ball”, and other games with the neighborhood kids. She proudly attended Pinkard Court School and Roanoke County Occupational School, where she was surrounded by loving teachers and many dear friends.
Love and friendship were, in fact, the defining characteristics of Pam’s life. Everywhere she went, she made friends. She loved everyone and, within minutes of meeting her, everyone loved her right back. Pam’s life was a testament to love, joy, faith, and kindness.
She joins in heaven her father, Joe, her grandparents, Walter and Nellie Marshall, and Cortez and Wincil Turner, as well as a many other relatives, including uncles, aunts, and cousins. She is survived by her mother, Judy Marshall; her sister and brother-in-law, Sherry and Jim Siska; her brother and sister-in-law, Terry and Aimee Marshall; her nephews and niece, Kyle Siska, Matt Siska, Lindsey Siska, Justin Marshall, and Parker Marshall, all of whom she absolutely adored. They, of course, adored her right back. Pam also is survived by cousins and other relatives, as well as beloved friends, including her housemates and those dedicated professionals at A Shining Light who helped to care for during the last few years.
Pam’s life will be celebrated privately by her family at this time, with a public memorial service to be held once it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, we suggest that you contribute in her memory to either The Arc of the Roanoke Valley, PO Box 13382, Roanoke, VA 24033-3382 or the Bethel Baptist Church food pantry, 1601 S Colorado St, Salem, VA 24153.
The family also asks that you consider the following suggestions as you search for ways to honor Pam’s extraordinary life: First, when you see the statistics of those who have lost their lives due to Covid-19, remember that behind each one is the face of a real, beloved person. Close your eyes and think of Pam, and then please do everything you can to keep yourself and others safe. Second, be kind. Help others. If you can, donate money or food. If you can't, just commit a good deed. Finally, continue to pray. Pray for us, but also for those risking their own lives as first responders, health care providers, and all others working essential jobs during this difficult time.
Pam was the poster child for love and joy and all that is good. We take great comfort in knowing she is with her daddy in Heaven, running and laughing, singing and rejoicing, healed and freed from all pain and suffering.
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