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A tribute to Pam Paul – friend, colleague and former Oklahoman

By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter

OKLAHOMA CITY – Last week, the public learned via Facebook that Pam Paul, a former colleague of The City Sentinel newspaper staff, had passed away.

Pam was an avid and dedicated progressive. She worked for the Oklahoma County Democratic Party as their Communications Director from 2006-2011. She managed a congressional campaign for Democratic candidate Tom Guild, who unsuccessfully challenged James Lankford in 2012. 

Guild made the tragic announcement on Facebook, saying, “It is with a heavy heart and a pit in the bottom of my stomach that I share with you the information that my dear friend and stalwart progressive champion Pam Paul has died.

“Pam was giving, kind, generous, smart, talented, and loyal to a fault. Pam was a charter member of the Brennan Society and was named as an honorary lifetime member a few years ago,” Guild continued. “She loved pets and always had several cats and/or dogs in her home as long as I knew her. 

“She was diagnosed with cancer in December and succumbed to the disease this week,” Guild said. “Only the good die young. Pam certainly fit that mold.”

Guild wrote that Pam moved back to Massachusetts in 2014 to live in the childhood home she inherited from her mother, who also died of cancer. Pam was her mother’s caregiver.

Pam’s LinkedIn page reads: “My niche is a diverse environment, which embraces my personality, my experience, and my skill sets. I wish to learn, thrive, and share best practices while helping to cultivate a flourishing atmosphere, wherever I may be.”

She certainly succeeded. Pam built relationships with common sense dialogue that resulted in effective teamwork, according to many of her friends.

After returning to her home state of Massachusetts, Pam worked in restaurant and catering management. Her main focus of involvement was with the Service Dog Project that operates from a farm in Ipswich, MA where they breed, train, and then donate Great Danes to the mobility disabled. 

Pam wrote, “I do whatever is needed from feedings, cleaning kennels, playing with puppies, brushing larger dogs, to donkey, chicken and hen care. This is the best example you will find of a grassroots social organization, working for and with those in need. The Danes are amazing, as are all those involved with this farm.”

As could be expected, Pam adopted three of the large pups herself, Martha, Whit and Chester.

Pam’s web design experience included media and graphics. networking and consulting. 

Her publications include the book Mousepads, Shoeleather, and Hope, Lessons from the Howard Dean Campaign. Pam contributed to a chapter of this book, following her work in the Dean grassroots campaign for the Presidential nomination in 2004. Even though not successful, she said she found it to be “exciting and liberating.”

Pam worked for The City Sentinel newspaper from 2010 – 2014 in everyday operations such as placing ads, writing content, maintaining the website, and posting on social media. 

“Pam was a wonderful woman,” recalls Pat McGuigan, publisher of The City Sentinel.  “I was blessed to work with her for several years before she moved back to Massachusetts. We had a relationship of trust and mutual respect. She was intelligent and helpful, with an intuitive kindness.”

Oklahoma City resident Dana Orwig said, “I remember Pam’s dedication to community organizing and wanting to make things better.”

Her close friend and Oklahoma City resident, Preston White stated, “Pam was very giving and always wanted others to enjoy the journey along with her. Her favorite way to express displeasure was ‘Holy cannoli.’’

“Pam was one of my godmothers and she was a very important part of my life,” said Preston’s daughter Amanda Ashmore. “Pam had a very bright soul, was generous, selfless, funny and kind. She would always lighten any situation and her little dances are what I remember most. She danced her way through life and that’s always something I will admire about her. She meant a great deal to me and to a lot of other people.  She was a shining star in the world.”

Oklahoma City musician Peggy Johnson said, “Pam was a kind and giving woman who was always loyal to her many friends. I especially remember her enthusiasm for the Howard Dean campaign in 2004. She also loved animals and, besides her most recent endeavor with her beloved Great Danes, she had a chihuahua named Emma who was a precious treasure as well.”

Pam served in the United States Army from 1982-1984, saying it “prepared me to understand and embrace our cultural and economic diversity.”

Click here to watch a video called “SDP Nanny Pam – An Angel Walks Among Us.”

The staff of The City Sentinel sends our deepest heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our former colleague Pam Paul, seen here with Martha, one of her beautiful Great Danes. Pam was intelligent, eager to help, with an intuitive kindness. We were honored to know her and will all miss her very much. Facebook photo.
Paul Paul (center) with her close friend Preston White and goddaughter Amanda Ashmore at the 2011 Oklahoma Ambulance Association Banquet where Preston received the Star of Life Award. Photo provided.
Pam Paul in Massachusetts with one of her beloved Great Danes, Martha. Facebook photo
Photobombed by her three beloved Great Danes, Martha, Whit and Chester, Pam Paul returned to her childhood home in Massachusetts for her final days. Facebook photo
Pam Paul (top left) and members of the Special Dog Project. Facebook photo