The Spark that was Pamela

Pam in 1979

Pam Menas was the first person I thought of as a force of nature. Anyone who ever heard her sing knows what I’m talking about, but she had immense gifts in many areas other than music.

We went to high school together, were in each other’s weddings, and got together often during our 20s as we worked towards finding our places in the world. As we reached maturity, we continued to share our journey. Each of us forged new paths when the earlier ones didn’t quite work anymore.

Pam had been a successful opera singer, traveling Europe and the U.S. to sing many roles, including Gilda in Rigoletto and The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. After some soul searching, she decided to leave her musical career. It was then that she revealed a fierce intelligence and talent for both mathematics and science. She earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and went on to serve as an oncological pharmacist at James Lovell Federal Health Center.

No matter how you met Pam, whether in school, in the music world, as a medical colleague, or patient, you couldn’t help but notice her warmth and her generous spirit…once you got past her staggering abilities!


I’m sure I thought 59 was old when Pam and I first met, but knowing her taught me better. Pam was still a force of nature in 2016. She was taken from us suddenly, bewilderingly, and far too soon. Barton and I will always love and miss the woman he called “Sparky.” We hold her loving (and much-beloved) husband Lee in our hearts.


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