Wokingham Today

A joyful celebratio­n to mark life of much-loved Pamela


A SERVICE to remember a much-loved member of the community will be a joyful celebratio­n.

Pamela Patman passed away last month while on holiday in Portugal, but the former medical secretary will be honoured with a gathering, which will be held at St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Basingstok­e Road, Spencers Wood on Tuesday from 1.30pm.

Her widower, borough councillor Barrie

Patman, will be leading the tributes.

The couple had been married for 50 years and met when Cllr Patman worked for British Airways: the company held a ball “and one of the chaps I worked with brought her along,” he recalled.

“She asked my friend about me and it sort of followed on from there.”

When they met Mrs Patman was already a widow twice over. It wasn’t the only challenge that Mrs Patman faced: as a child her mother had a breakdown.

“She’d had a pretty tough life up until then,” Cllr Patman said. “When she was eight she became an adult almost overnight. She’s carried that through her whole life really.”

Despite this, Mrs Patman had a sunny outlook on life, helped by her Christian faith.

“That comes through strongly in the all the sympathy cards that I’ve been receiving,” Cllr Patman said, “even from people who haven’t seen her for a long time.”

And the couple are well-known among the Christian community in the borough: after marriage they lived in Windsor before moving first to Winnersh and then Barkham and Spencers Wood.

They’ve been members of Sindlesham Baptist Church as well as St Michael’s and All Angels, and Mrs Patman has been an active member of the fellowship­s as well as the Wokingham Townswomen’s Guild.

“She is probably one of the most reliable people they’ve had – she’d help with anything, she was so community minded,” Cllr Patman said.

“When I was mayor in 2010, she really enjoyed being my consort. She was always able to talk to anybody.

“She had a big heart and she gave lots to charity, more than I knew about until now.

“It was because her first husband died of leukaemia, that [Bloodwise] is one of the charities she supported.”

It is one of two charities that the Patmans are asking for donations in lieu of flowers, the other being the Stroke Associatio­n, in recognitio­n of the help they received after she had a mild stroke three years ago.

It is thought that the stroke led to her death on February 26.

The couple were on holiday in Portugal and had enjoyed three days of “marvellous weather” when tragedy struck.

“It just happened in the middle of the night,” Cllr Patman said.

“I called for an ambulance, it was quite a trauma. Our daughter and eldest son flew out the next day to come and help.”

The funeral had been delayed while a mix-up with the Portuguese coroner was sorted out and they are planning to ensure Tuesday’s gathering will be a fond farewell.

“There will be a lot of people from the church who will be there and able to sing,” Cllr Patman explained. “We want it to be a celebratio­n and be more light-hearted. Afterwards, we’ll go straight to a wake for refreshmen­ts and people can share their memories more informally.”

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