NEW BUFFALO - On September 8, 1949, Pam Weniger Feeney entered the world and started sharing her infectious smile. Born in Pittsburgh, PA to Dr. Frederick and Christine Weniger and siblings to Dr. Frederick Weniger (Pittsburgh, PA), Christine McDermott (Pittsburgh, PA), and Charles Weniger (St. Petersburg, FL, deceased).
Pam leaves behind her husband, Mike Feeney, whom she met while attending Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. As the story goes, Mike was able to win her over in the cafeteria with an opening line of "Are you going to eat that brownie?" Pam's response was an adoring smile. On her way to graduating Xavier with a M.Ed., she and Mike married in January 1971, and then Pam began her teaching career.
After teaching positions in Pittsburgh and Atlanta, Pam was hired as an English Professor at Kellogg Community College (KCC) in Battle Creek, MI, where she taught a variety of courses. Pam was recognized by KCC for her teaching excellence as a recipient of their Starfish Award and the impact she made on her students was significant. Her sons were often stopped by former students so they could share how Pam helped to jump start their learning and often changed their life trajectory. Tough, but fair, was a typical description of her teaching style. Pam had a wonderful presence in the classroom that allowed her to engage with a wide cross section of students. She led the classroom with her smile and left future students with her endowed ROBBEN Scholarship.
Pam's professional calling was as an educator, but she openly said being a mother was the best job she ever had. She raised two sons, Benjamin (Laura) and Robert (Jessica) Feeney, while in Battle Creek. Pam applied her professorial skills at home with her boys – tough, fair, and engaging were similar descriptors used in the Feeney House. Daily attendance at family dinner was met with meaningful conversations, lively debates, and an "ask anything" environment. Similar to the classroom, Pam engaged with her sons in productive ways and established lifelong principles, like, smile lots and laugh often.
Later in life, Pam was blessed with seven grandchildren: Claire, Avery, Mattias, Owen, Emma, Mila, and Connor. She was able to provide her grandchildren with the love of many lifetimes and memorialized her love for them by writing and publishing a children's' book for each grandchild. The family cherished seeing Pam's smile light up when showering her grandchildren with affection.
It was a blessing to witness the love between Pam and Mike. Over 50 years of marriage. Mike was a rock during the final stages of Pam's life. Our family will forever be in awe of the courage Mike displayed with knowing how the story would end, yet enjoying the remaining time and co-writing as many chapters as he could with his wife. As he cared for her every single day, the physical and mental strength he displayed was love at its core definition; and as Pam's life was nearing the end, he worked even harder to bring even the smallest of smiles to her face.
Pam – wife, educator mother, Pamma, sibling, daughter, friend, singer, author, storyteller, dance machine – you and your smile will be with us always.
There will be a private spreading of the ashes and at a later date a celebration of life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ROBBEN Scholarship at the Kellogg Community College Foundation, 450 North Avenue, Battle Creek, MI, 49017 or online at HYPERLINK "http://www.kellogg.edu/donate" www.kellogg.edu/donate. Arrangements have been entrusted to Sommerfeld Chapel & Cremation Services. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at HYPERLINK "http://www.sommerfeld chapel.com" www.sommer feldchapel.com.