Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and mother-in-law PAMELA NIELSEN, passed away peacefully on January 19, 2013. She will be greatly missed by her devoted children, their families, and a host of friends in the San Francisco Bay Area and in cities throughout Australia.
Pamela was born April 2, 1921 and was raised in Perth and Broome, Western Australia. Her father, Captain A.C. Gregory, was a renowned sea captain from England who went to Australia to seek his fortune in the deep sea pearl diving frontier of the 1900s. Pamela’s mother, Kate, was a native Australian whose ancestors were also from England.
Pamela lived in Perth until her marriage in 1944 to United States Naval officer William C. Nielsen (Bill), whereupon they embarked on an exciting military life on both US coasts for the next 20 years. Retiring from the US Navy in 1960, the Nielsen family settled in Los Altos where Pamela served her community for the next 50 years. Together they had three children: Greg, Linda and Susan. Bill passed away in 1985.
Pamela was very active in the El Camino Hospital Auxiliary where she volunteered more than 10,000 hours that spanned nearly 50 years. She served on the Membership, Placement, and Surgical Hostess Committees where she served as Chair of each. Her Surgical Hostess commitment entailed 18 years of service. She was elected Auxiliary President (1976-77) and served on the Board as a Past President, where she was Chair of the Past President’s Council. She worked on the Bylaws Committee as well and was a Lifetime Auxiliary Patron. She was well known at El Camino Hospital for her comforting way, her luscious lemon cake, her jaunty manner and her Australian accent.
She was also a docent for more than a dozen years at Filoli House in Woodside where her garden tours were highly sought after because of her extensive knowledge and love of plants, flowers and trees. You could always spot Pamela in one of her numerous colorful hats.
Pamela also donated her artistic flair to the Altar Guild at Christ Episcopal Church in Los Altos where she arranged flowers for the altar for Sunday services, and often made her famous finger sandwiches that were served after memorial tributes.
Additional volunteer time was spent at the Cancer Society “Discovery Shop” in Los Altos, and you could find her practicing Tai Chi at the Methodist Church in Los Altos. She was an avid reader and a regular patron of the Woodland Library. Pamela was a culinary master and could paint, sew, embroider, knit, crochet and arrange flowers like an artist. Many friends sought her creativity on jewelry designs and ideas.
Pamela is survived by her son, Greg, and his wife, Kathy; their daughters Lisa, Julie and Kristina and their families; daughter Linda Nielsen Healey, her husband Bill and sons Chris, Tim and James, and their children; and daughter Susan Nielsen Souza, her husband, Kevin, and their children Tyler and Kate. We are grateful for the wonderful and memorable times we shared with her, and will miss her enormously.
A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 1040 Border Road, Los Altos, at 11:00am on Thursday, January 31. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in her name to The Salvation Army or the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA.