Many of you have learned from my Head Huggers web site that I began this project in December 2001 after meeting a wonderful lady who had a cold head while going through chemotherapy treatments for her then recently diagnosed breast cancer. Since then, I personally have made, received, labeled, and distributed over 50,000 chemo caps to individual patients and to cancer centers all over the United States... including Alaska and Hawaii.
Several years after starting Head Huggers, I discovered I was receiving so many caps from volunteers that this project basically took over my life. So, to distribute the workload, I began soliciting volunteers to run satellite Head Huggers groups... my goal being to get groups up and running in every state in the Union... and... perhaps even getting groups performing the same service in countries outside of the United States. Since then, there have been approximately 70-90 active satellite groups... both in and outside of the United States.
And now, you need to receive an update on the special woman who was my inspiration... Pamela B. Mitchell. Several months ago, Pam was diagnosed with a new cancer... metastatic lung cancer. While she railed against this new diagnosis... she bravely faced the ensuing treatments... and eventually faced the inevitable with grace. Pam died July 3rd, 2009. I am only one of many, many individuals who love and miss her.
Pamela B. Mitchell (nee Bobbett) daughter of Celeste Schleuning Bobbett and Albert E. Bobbett was born June 1st, 1944. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, bone cancer in 2005, and metastatic lung cancer in 2008... ... .
Pam attended Eastern High School in Baltimore, Maryland, and received a BA from Western Maryland College in 1965. She held a variety of leadership positions including President of her Sorority, Delta Sigma Kappa.
Throughout high school and college she was an outstanding athlete and was captain of most sports teams, but with particular skills in basketball and softball. As a child she played a variety of sports with the boys in her neighborhood and often stopped traffic, literally, while men got out of their cars to watch her throw and hit a ball "just like a boy". She taught and coached swimming and was a certified Red Cross Life Saver.
Her early career, from 1965 to 1980, was with the State of Maryland as a vocational counselor. While there, she won the State of Maryland Gold Award for development of procedures improving services to clients. She also worked as a Training and Staff Development Officer.
From 1980 to 1993, she worked as a Certified Account Executive/Industry Consultant for AT&T where she advised financial services institutions and stock brokerages in developing customer service applications and designing communications systems. She won numerous awards for outstanding design and sales.
In 1993, she earned her MA in Business Management from the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore (where she was nominated to Delta Mu Delta, an International Honor Society in Business). She pursued her MA in preparation for an entrepreneurial foray into her own business called "Moving On", a business to provide transitional services to seniors making major lifestyle changes into retirement communities or health care facilities. In the early 90's when this business was established, she could find no similar business operating anywhere. Moving On pioneered this service for seniors and others needing the assistance and did so in a way that attempted to guide the client and family calmly through a difficult and disruptive period. The business was established at a time when many of the large retirement communities were beginning to become a popular living alternative and Pam was therefore able to help many clients moving into all the major local communities as well as many out-of-state communities to which clients were moving. As a result of her entrepreneurial spirit and her ability to set high standards for the treatment of clients as well as provide service to the retirement community, Moving On became a model for other such businesses which gained credibility through Pam's initial design. Moving On was sold and Pam retired.
In addition, Pam taught business courses at the College of Notre Dame for several years.
In 1980 Pam joined Alcoholics Anonymous after a battle of many years with alcoholism. She spent many years working with others in the AA program as a speaker and as a sponsor, and remained continuously sober until her death.
She joined the Towson United Methodist Church June 20, 1999, and became very active there. She sang in the choir and was President of it for 7 years; served on the Staff Parish Relations Committee, and the Administrative Board. Most recently, in 2008, she was the Chair of the Towson United Methodist Church 50th Anniversary Committee, responsible for a very successful year-long celebration. Her favorite TUMC activity for many years was playing the Easter Bunny at the annual Easter egg hunt on the church lawn.
Pam married Robert Mitchell, Jr. in 1970... divorced in 1975.
Her interests included travel... particularly to the United Kingdom and London where she went several times a year... music, theatre, bridge, English history, gardening, and sports.
She is survived by her very dear friend, Donna G. Russell and Donna's family, including Jeff, Caroline, Kimberly and Kevin Wilkinson and Laura, Mike, Caleb and Lydia Schroder. She was also survived by a cousin, Kathleen Lancelotti, and many loving friends.
A memorial service was held at Towson United Methodist Church at 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 11th, 2009.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions have been directed to the Music Department at the Towson United Methodist Church, 501 Hampton Lane, Towson, MD 21286.