Pamela Elizabeth Fergus Bliss
August 10, 1939 – December 12, 2016
“Pam”, was born in Verdun, Quebec to her parents Margaret Johanna (Sime) and Norman Bain, both of whom emigrated from Scotland in 1925. Pam’s older sister, Norma Lorraine, was already seven years old when Pam entered the world and was a constant loving, caring, and protective big sister to Pam. Her very early years were spent growing up during the austere years imposed by World War II but that did not temper Pam’s youthful spirit. When Pam was only seven she was one of the first children stricken during the 1946 polio epidemic and she was hospitalized in isolation for several months at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in Montreal, seeing her family only once a week through a glass partition. She fully recovered from this serious disease and this experience is credited with her desire to pursue physiotherapy as an occupation when she was an adult.
In the intervening years her family moved to Beaurepaire, now known as the west Island of Montreal but then known as the Lakeshore area, where her mother and father lived until 1975. Since there was no high school in the Lakeshore area of Montreal, Pam had to commute to the city and finished grade 11 at Montreal West High School, and grade 12 from the High School of Montreal in 1957. After this she entered McGill University directly into second year and graduated with a Diploma in Physiotherapy in the spring of 1959. It was at McGill that Pam met her lifelong friend Anne Harker (Hughes), who was a companion and fellow traveler for over 58 years.
Upon graduation, Pam accepted a physiotherapy internship in Vancouver. She and her friend Anne made the journey to Vancouver by train sharing a lower berth and eating cheese whiz, peanut butter and stale bread for a number of days – what an adventure! It was while in British Columbia that Pam discovered camping. This was the start of Pam’s lifelong passion about travelling. In October 1959 Pam returned to Montreal and was hired as a physiotherapist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Summer breaks from working were punctuated with a cross North America camping road tour with her friend Anne in 1960, and similar odyssey in Europe in 1961.
Pam also took up taking skiing charters to Europe and it was on such a trip in 1963 that Pam met her future husband Ted. They were married in April 1964 and Pam moved to Brockville, where she became a full time mother, having taken on the responsibility helping to raise four kids with Ted. Life in the
sixties and seventies proceeded with four children growing up sailing and skiing among other activities and at least once a year, Pam and Ted pursued their passion of travelling.
Over the years they traveled to every continent and were some of the very first tourists to be in communist Soviet Union and China, photographic safaris in Africa, as well as being early adopters of polar tourism to Antarctica and the Arctic. Around 1980 Pam and her friend Anne once again took annual trips, a habit that continued until very recently. In their retirement years Pam and Ted left Brockville and moved to the ‘river house’ at La Rue Mills and spent their summers golfing at the Grenadier Island Golf Club as well as taking winter golfing trips to the warmer parts of the United States.
Pam was a person who loved animals, enjoyed Cribbage and Mahjong immensely, could do the hardest crossword puzzles, and had a love of languages over the years taking time to learn Spanish, Italian, and Russian.
Pam passed away peacefully at her home on Monday, December 12, 2016. She is predeceased by her mother Margaret (Sime), father Norman, husband Ted, and son David. She is survived by her children Susan Van Tine (the late Edwin) of Hamburg, NY, Douglas (Diane Michaud) of Sackville, NB, Fraser of Turku, Finland, her sister Norma High (Bob), and niece and nephew Glenna and Alan High. Surviving grandchildren are Craig and Kim Van Tine; Fraser, Nicholas, Olli, Sam, Sydney, Zoë, and Christina Bliss, plus eight great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held at Barclay’s Funeral Home, 137 Pearl St. E., Brockville, on Saturday, December 17th, 2016 from 1 to 3 pm. In memory of Pam donations to the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust, 19 Reynolds Rd., Lansdowne, ON K0E 1L0 would be gratefully appreciated by the family. Messages of condolences may be made online at www.barclayfuneralhome.com.
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