Pam Penfold died attempting to avoid old age at 70. She was born in Denver, the third of the four children of Ken and Carlen Penfold. When Pam was not yet two, the family moved to Boulder, where she lived happily most of her life, attending Uni Hill, Flatirons, Base Line and graduating from Boulder High in 1966. Her life might be divided into phases. First was sports, enjoying ball games with the boys in elementary school. In junior high she began taking the ski bus with the Alpine Juniors, developing a great passion for the enjoyment and beauty of gliding around in the glistening white mountains of Colorado. A good student, she worked hard enough at academics and extracurricular activities at Boulder High to be accepted at Middlebury College in Vermont, which had its own ski area. She was going to be a ski racer, but couldn't maneuver on the Eastern ice, so opted for the fun and satisfaction of the ski patrol. Tiring of the Vermont weather, Pam left her friends at Middlebury and finished her history degree at the University of Colorado in 1970, continuing her ski patrol duties in the wonderful Colorado snow at Winter Park. Skiing was still her passion and writing was her skill, so she got a job as a journalist at Ski Racing in Denver prior to her CU graduation. She spent the next decade covering skiing competitions around the nation and, on occasion, in Europe. She became the first media director for the U.S. Ski Team, gaining an increasing appreciation for cross-country skiing. She wasn't a natural but enjoyed the national team members and their incredible dedication to their sport. During this phase, she married a colleague at Ski Racing magazine, Gaylord Guenin. In 1974, they purchased a small home with a pond in Four Mile Canyon, where she lived with great pleasure until her passing (although the marriage didn't last but a couple of years.) She followed Ski Racing to Vermont for a few years until that job petered out. She wrote the book One Stride Ahead - An Expert's Guide to Cross-Country Skiing with U.S. team coach Marty Hall in 1980. After that, the skiing phase was over. Phase two involved returning to Boulder, where Pam worked at The Printed Page Bookstore, following her love for books under the beloved Virginia Patterson. She began playing golf again for the first time since high school. In 1984, she was hired as assistant editor of the alumni magazine at CU. This gig lasted for over 24 years. She continued her education with stories on fascinating students and alumni and articles about the amazing and widely varied work of CU faculty and staff. The work was very satisfying and mostly exciting. She eventually was promoted to editor of the Colorado Alumnus magazine, which kept her busy until her retirement in 2007. Phase three was relishing retirement. She continued to play golf, enjoying the friendships gained playing around Boulder and Denver and on trips to tournaments around the region with her best friend and beloved sister, Paula. She also kept up with friends from kindergarten, junior high, Vermont and Boulder, who somehow seemed to enjoy her despite her often gruff and outspoken nature. A small greenhouse, large flower garden and large yard also kept her busy - the tomatoes were delicious, and the flowers and pond were much enjoyed by her and her dog. She always had one loyal rescue dog by her side until just before her passing. Her love of animals was very deep. The birds and wildlife that came to the pond were many and she studied them all, always interested in their behaviors and habits. She was also an avid reader of books and newspapers, and a fan of sports, television dramas, NPR and PBS news, a large variety of music, movies and radio programs. Her dear family was very important. She tried to keep in close contact with the clan in Dallas and California. It was difficult to deal with the deaths of her father Ken in 1999, her brother Larry and her mother Carlen in 2014, then her brother-in-law Rob in 2016. Their losses and those of other dear friends were hard. Not wanting to suffer or require others to be her caretakers, Pam held firm to her daily regimen of beer and cigarettes to try to avoid old age and infirmity. It seemed to work, for the most part, until a recent emergency surgery got the better of her and she never fully recovered. She made it back to the Pond to enjoy her flowers and mountain air one last time before passing peacefully in her own bed. Pam is survived by her brother, Craig Penfold, who lives in Dallas with his wife Sharon and children Carlen and Clark, their spouses and their children; sister-in-law, Sharman Penfold, who lives in California with children Marlowe, Ward and Conor, their spouses and four children; and sister, Paula Sinn-Penfold, who lives in Boulder with her daughter Haley and future son-in-law Michael. At Pam's request, there was cremation and there will be a private family memorial. Pam would certainly encourage all her family, friends and colleagues to enjoy a beer in her honor. In lieu of flowers, she requested that you support causes in service to people in need of justice.
Published by The Daily Camera on Sep. 2, 2018.