District grieving community pillar

By Robin McCormick
Devlin Correspondent

The entire district is grieving the unexpected passing of Pam Bujold (Allen).

Pam was many things. Her large circle of family was truly blessed with her never-ending love and support. Pam and her husband Murnie worked hand in hand at their meat shop, cutting lawns (to perfection) moving the organ to the hall so Pam could play for a funeral, not to mention the many meals they cooked with always a plate set for special friends like Steve Galusha and often Aunt Freeda. Pam and Murnie were kind of “Jacks of all trades” with the endless jobs they performed. Pam recently shared with me, “If you want a job done right, ask a busy person.” And that’s exactly what Pam and Murnie were – two busy people doing a job right.

Pam was a pillar of Guthrie United Church, especially since Reverend Frances Flook’s relocation to Kenora. Pam has been conducting Sunday services with sermons that have touched the congregation’s hearts. She had recently taken the training needed to perform Communion and just recently met the requirements to perform funerals. Pam’s piano/organ playing and singing have been much appreciated by many over the years. I remember Bubs Hughes’request for Pam to sing at his funeral service. Pam’s love and dedication to her 24/7 garage sale showed how much she loved her church as all monies raised at the store was given to the church and was a fundamental part of the church’s operation. Pam had shared with me, “One of the reasons I don’t want to sell the meat shop and retire is that the 24/7 Store will have to shut down.” Pam’s dedication to her Church couldn’t have been stronger.

Pam was a vital part of our TOPS Club. She sold the weekly tickets, she kept minutes of each meeting even though she wasn’t the secretary and was always the one to fill in when Angela (our official secretary) was absent. Pam volunteered for many TOPS Club tasks and she “voluntold” many of us members what we would be doing. When Pam was in charge of the weekly program, she could be seen carrying in (with the help of her bestie Trudy) props, costumes, written words, poems or a song she had made up or changed the words to, and you knew you’d be laughing so hard you’d need to find a washroom – or at least cross your legs.

Pam worked hard in everything she did, giving everything 110 per cent. She was a valued asset at the Lakers Hockey Games. She cleaned repossessed homes along with Auntie Freeda. They would makes homes that were in shambles into mansions, which I’m sure pleased the banks.

Pam and Murnie cut and maintained all four cemeteries in our township, which they did with great pride. People would often comment on the beauty of our local cemeteries. They had did this job for over five years. Both were on the Cemetery Committee and often did volunteer work for the cemeteries. Reeve Lucille McDonald shared with me, “Pam felt this job was part of our community’s history, and history was important to Pam. Connection was important to Pam.”

Pam Bujold, alongside her husband Murnie, has been a pillar of the community for decades. The community is now grieving her sudden loss.

Lucille also shared with me, “Many times over the years, I would ask Pam her opinion about topics involving our community. Pam would always give good sound advice. She knew what was  best for our community. Her heart was always in the right place. Pam was my sounding board”. 

Pam was a vital part of the Devlin Hall her entire life. Once she was old enough, she volunteered and took part in many functions, moving tables, serving lunch, sweeping and mopping floors, Pam did it all. Pam and Murnie were in charge of cleaning the hall after every event and seeing to the maintenance of the fridges, stoves etc. Pam was so looking forward to the renovations that are about to take place. Pam loved the hall, the hub of our community.

Lucille shared with me, “Pam was always willing to fill in at our landfill site when needed. She took numbers as people entered the landfill site.”

Pam and Murnie bartended at many events over the years. You could bet the joy of the celebration was enhanced by their “comedy team wit and humour.” They were requested often to bartend, and those attending knew why!

Pam loved her yard, her home, her teddy bears, decorations, dishes and antiques. She loved the pictures of her family set throughout her house. She loved all animals, and a well manicured lawn. Pam and I recently shared a lot of conversation about decluttering our homes. She was very happy that she was able to part with some of her teddy bears and donated some to Rainycrest.

Pam could do anything, build anything, find humour in anything, work long hours and perhaps most importantly Pam loved to laugh, and equally important, make you laugh.

Pam had survived breast cancer with dignity and often had a few laughs about changes in her breasts. Yes, perhaps Pam was inappropriate at times. She swore like a trucker around certain people, shocked people with her comments and shenanigans, but she was real and true to herself. She seldom said no when asked to do something, unless perhaps if she had to cut 20 yards, set up tables at the hall for an event and then prepare a prime rib supper, all in one day. Then she would volunteer Trudy.

Pam’s love for her friends was unconditional – many a friend would stop for coffee daily. Pam had friends of all ages, and from one end of the district to the other and extending far across Canada.

And now we are faced without our pillar, without our family member, our friend, our person that gave orders so extremely well that you dare not say no, our person that truly believed, “when life gives you lemons make lemonade.”

Our hearts are hurting. We feel lost. But I can’t help but think Pam would want us to live life to its fullest, cram as much as we can into each day. A day of work, and perhaps taking on one more task, enjoying a coffee with friends, setting an extra plate for someone and making at least one person laugh everyday.

Pam has left us and we are grieving but thankfully she’s left us all with a memory that will likely bring a smile to your face, maybe even a belly laugh or a tear. Whatever Pam leaves you with know that it was true and genuine because that is exactly what Pam was!