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Pamela Belsom Avery


1948 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
October 24, 1948 ~ May 10, 2017
Pamela Belsom Avery, age 68, ended life's journey after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at home surrounded by her loving family.
Pam was born October 24, 1948, in Salt Lake City to Leslie Belsom and Mary Kelley. In her own words, "My life experiences provided a street smarts of trial, error, success, and failure, and my Catholic school education gave me knowledge and confidence." She attended Bishop Glass Elementary School, Judge Memorial High School, St. Mary of the Wasatch, and the University of Utah. Pam continued her education with distance courses from St. Joseph's College and Norte Dame. In 2014, she fulfilled her lifelong dream and obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Studies from the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago.
She married the love of her life and best friend, Donald Louis Avery, on August 22, 1969, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Salt Lake City.
Pam started her career at Mountain Bell as a switchboard operator, then moved to building support services, and finally took on a very nontraditional role as a cable locator. She agreed to the job with one caveat: "I don't climb telephone poles." They agreed, but didn't tell her she would have to climb down manholes and work under the city streets. But she did.
Pam took a ten-year sabbatical from work to raise her sons, Joshua Paul and Timothy Jason. Her boys were the light of her life and she provided them with a loving and supportive home. She spent countless hours at the soccer field, basketball court, and baseball field cheering them on. To her own surprise, she became an accomplished baseball scorekeeper during those years.
She resumed her work career as a parent volunteer at Dilworth Elementary School and soon accepted a position tutoring children who needed additional classroom attention. Around the same time, Pam started teaching children's Sunday school at St. Ambrose Catholic Church. She eventually became the church's Director of Religious Education (DRE) and the Coordinator of The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), positions she held until her retirement in June of 2015. During her career, she served on the Parish Council, was a Lector and Eucharistic Minister, was a board member for the Intermountain Catholic Newspaper and the Bishop's Advisory Council, and was a certified Lay Ecclesial Minister. In 1995 she was the St. Ambrose Woman of the Year. Highlighting each year was her participation in the church's annual children's Christmas pageant, the Utah State Hospital's Forgotten Patient Christmas gift drive, and the children's summer bible study at Camp Kostopulos. Working with children gave her a great deal of joy and satisfaction.
Pam took pride in her beautiful home and yard, which have been a lifelong project for her and Don. Family and friends looked forward to her holiday dinners and summer barbecues. Her barbecue ribs, potato salad, and cheesecake were always a hit. She was admired for her good taste and style, which was reflected in her wardrobe, interior decorating, parties, and arts and crafts. Pam always found time in her busy schedule to enjoy the outdoors with Don, her sons, and the family dog. With the trailer in tow, the family spent memorable times hiking, biking, and fishing in the mountains and deserts of Utah and Wyoming. Pam loved to fish and could often be found with Don in their boat on Strawberry Reservoir and Willard Bay. Pam also loved traveling and sightseeing, and recently vacationed with Don in Italy, Peru, and China.
Pam is preceded in death by her father Leslie Belsom (1981), mother Mary Kelley Blackhurst (2000), and stepfather Stanley Blackhurst (1991). She is survived by her husband Donald, sons Joshua (Amy) and Timothy (Samantha), precious grandchildren Cameron, Olivia, and Alyssa, her sister Donna (Gary) Carson, her nephew Christopher (Makiko) Benardis, and her brother-in-law Kevin (Deborah) Avery.
Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at St. Ambrose Church, 1975 South 2300 East, Salt Lake City, UT. The Rite of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. A reception and lunch will follow in the church social center. Private interment at the Mt. Calvary Catholic Mausoleum.
The family wishes to extend our gratitude to all of Pam's family and friends who supported her during her illness and to the caring community at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Pam's behalf to St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 2314 Redondo Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.
Funeral Directors: Neil O'Donnell Mortuary, Salt Lake City, UT.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on May 11, 2017
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