Teacher's grit allowed her to embrace full life
George Kamerer still remembers the first time he saw Pamela Kamerer's shimmering brown eyes almost two decades ago.
Both were school teachers passionate about education, attending a professional conference in Western Pennsylvania. Mrs. Kamerer must have left quite the impression, because he walked away visualizing their life together. “I've been in love with her ever since,” Mr. Kamerer said.
Pamela E. Kamerer of Greensburg died Wednesday, May 1, 2013. She was 59. It was in Clairton where, as a child, Mrs. Kamerer decided she would never let health concerns limit her life. At just 12, she underwent surgery to correct scoliosis. She had to spend a year in a cast and learn how to walk again, but that only fueled her desire to become a majorette. Her high school's squad was so talented they were asked to perform for opening ceremonies for Three Rivers Stadium in the 1970s, Mr. Kamerer said.
“She was one of the famous Clairton Honey Bears,” he said. “She just powered through it. It showed her grit and determination. She is the most courageous person I know.”
Mrs. Kamerer attended Penn State University, where she studied fine arts. She worked as a substitute teacher until she was hired as an elementary art teacher at McKeesport Area School District. She retired after 25 years in the classroom.
She thrived in the classroom and enjoyed being president of McKeesport Area Education Association and working as a professional artist, her husband said. While her work has won national accolades and is displayed in galleries, Mrs. Kamerer jumped at opportunities to paint for friends.
“She's got artwork hanging in homes all over Western Pennsylvania,” Mr. Kamerer said, laughing.
Health issues continued to challenge Mrs. Kamerer's passion for life, but she fought each time.
“Through all of that, she was able to be this teacher, this union advocate, this artist and never complained. Not once,” Mr. Kamerer said. “I think what it was, she was not going to be cheated out of life. She was determined to live a normal life, no matter what the circumstances. When I think of Pam, I think of her courage and how she lived her life so courageously.”
In addition to her husband of 17 years, she is survived by stepchildren Stephanie (Josh) Shipley of Upper St. Clair and Jared (Sara) Kamerer of Cheswick and five grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Paul E. Bekavac Funeral Home in Elizabeth.
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Builder finds calling as chaplain at Westmoreland jail
- Scholarship fund at St. Vincent to honor Kennametal exec
- WCCC revises purchasing policy
- 7 arrested in Latrobe-area drug dealing
- Mt. Pleasant-based author details area’s ‘Hidden History’
- Woman to stand trial in Jeannette tot’s death
- Woman admits to theft of 2 weapons in Latrobe shooting case
- Students learn risks of digital lives at middle school presentation in Hempfield
- Westmoreland County sheriff won’t alter staffing as cash runs out
- Westmoreland, Fayette towns prepare to ring in holidays
- Bank seeks to foreclose on Eastern Derry Twp. VFD