Obituary: Pamela D. Volk, 1928-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Pamela D. Volk, 1928-2022

Nurse fought fiercely for women's reproductive rights and expressed her creativity through many crafts

Published December 27, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated December 27, 2022 at 10:28 a.m.


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Pamela D. Volk - COURTESY
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  • Pamela D. Volk

Gentle into that good night she did not go.

Our mother, Pamela Dow Volk, left this world a little better on December 22, 2022, after several years of declining health.

Pam was a daughter, sister, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to many. She lived her life fiercely and independently, lovingly and generously. Her strength and courage were unmatched. She was direct and often outspoken. You always knew where she stood.

Born April 21, 1928, in New York City to an artist father, John Dow, and an educator mother, Sarah Pickering Dow, she grew up first in Greenwich Village and then in Tarrytown, N.Y., following her parents’ divorce.

She graduated from Irvington High School and soon married the love of her life, WWII veteran Robert (Bobby) Dobson Volk. After four children and long before the advent of two-career households, she studied to be a licensed practical nurse, received a perfect score on her licensing examination and began her chosen career.

It’s likely that her experience caring for others led to her fierce advocacy for women’s reproductive rights. She was a regular on the Letters to the Editor page of the Tarrytown Daily News, pushing political leaders to legalize abortion in New York and then nationally.

Pam loved the water, and the family vacationed on the Jersey Shore for many years. With Bobby, she retired first to the shores of Lake Champlain in North Hero, Vt., and later to the Outer Banks in Duck, N.C. When Bobby became ill, they returned to Vermont, and she cared for him at home until his death. She continued to live in Vermont, close to family, and then moved to Baldwinsville, N.Y., to be near her daughters.

Pam was forever learning new ways to express her creativity. She was a lifelong sewer and knitter, and later she learned quilting, embroidery, ceramics, basket weaving, needlepoint, rug hooking, watercolor painting and who knows what else. Her family has the goods to prove it: winter sweaters, afghans, quilts, hooked rugs and paintings, among other treasures. She also embraced computers, was a proud owner of an early Mac and could be found taking lessons at the Syracuse Apple Store.

Pam leaves four children: Kathie Rhein of Burlington, Vt.; Debbie Deeb of Niskayuna, N.Y.; Cindy Volk-Delucia of Baldwinsville, N.Y.; and Tim Volk of Charlotte, Vt.; and their spouses; six grandchildren and five (soon to be six) great-grandchildren; as well as her brother-in-law, niece and nephew: John, Jennifer and Geoffrey Farrell; and many Volk nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sister, Diana Farrell; a grandson, John David Deeb; her husband, Bobby; and many lifelong friends.

Christmas was her favorite holiday, so it seems fitting to remember her during this season of light.

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