New Year’s Day, 2019, Pam (Moreau) Garland chose a word which she wanted to live by instead of a resolution. That word was ADVENTURE. Throughout the year, as cancer kept attacking her, she joked that she should have been more specific as to what kind of adventure she meant. In the early hours of December 18, 2019, Pam began her ultimate adventure suddenly, as cancer claimed yet another victim.
Her husband of 39 years, David, was by her side as she passed. Her son, Justin, had just said goodbye the previous morning as he headed home to Texas to his wife, Melissa (Ward) Garland, and his two boys, Max (5) and Kai (3). Those two grandchildren were the “sunshine” in Pam’s life. She is deeply missed by each of them.
Pam is preceded in death by her mother, Marilyn Moreau. She is survived by her father, Douglas Moreau, step-mother Karen (McCoy) Moreau, and brothers Michael and Matthew, their spouses Marisue (Bordeau) Moreau and Robin (Mercer) Moreau, respectively, and several nieces and nephews.
Pam was a 1976 graduate of Eaton Rapids High School. She then went on to graduate from Grand Valley State Colleges with a degree in special education followed by a masters in special education from Grand Valley State University. She taught various levels of special needs children with the majority of her time with early childhood special needs students in Kentwood Public Schools at Meadowlawn Elementary School and finally, Hamilton Early Childhood Center. She retired from education in 2014.
Pam always had a flair for the arts; be it stained glass, quilting, bead making or painting. At age 50, she decided to begin a new venture as a fitness competitor. She proceeded to work out and compete, primarily with Ultimate Fitness Events (UFE). Her goal was to compete until age 60. This was almost thwarted by the onset of cancer at age 59. But, 5 months after her last chemo and radiation treatment, she fulfilled that goal! She continued working for UFE upon “retiring” from competition. The UFE family’s support of Pam throughout her battle has been greatly appreciated.
Pam may be best remembered, however, for her constant humor and positive outlook as she battled cancer time and time again. Her Facebook and Instagram posts gave many people inspiration to achieve and move through obstacles they faced. Her humorous pictures of her journey through cancer also gave people something to smile about to brighten their day.
A Memorial time will be held in Chapel Hall at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 1934 52nd St. SE, Kentwood, Michigan, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, Saturday, January 25. Friends are asked to stop by and share their memories of Pam. In lieu of flowers, people are asked to make contributions to Faith Hospice, 2100 Raybrook SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546