Pamela Bowden – In Memoriam
Pamela Bowden, figure skater, dancer, and lifetime Citibank employee, died Aug. 30, 2004, nearly five years after being diagnosed with GIST. Daughter of the late Alfred F. and Emily C. Bowden, Pamela was 54 and lived in Garden City, New York. A graduate of Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York, Pamela served as a Senior Systems Analyst at Citibank. She had been involved with Citibank’s home banking system since its inception during the mid-1980s. Pamela thoroughly enjoyed her work, and was determined to put in a full day at the office (driving 25 miles each way) no matter how much she was struggling with fatigue or other side effects. She worked up until the day before her hospitalization in late August. An accomplished figure skater, Pamela had devoted a great deal of time to skating lessons and practice sessions, passing several levels of tests as a young woman. Later in life she turned her boundless energy to tap dancing, working with an outstanding instructor to develop a unique and graceful combination of tap and ballroom dancing. Along the way, Pamela also found time for tennis, swimming, diving, cross-country skiing and kayaking, participating in these sports with much vigor and joy. Pamela had a great affection for Lake Placid, New York, where she spent both winter and summer vacations. It was in the Adirondacks that she acquired several pairs of antique ice skates to add to her significant collection of such artifacts. It was also in this part of the world that Pamela befriended “Smitty,” a young black bear who had been converted into a “piano bear” for the Hotel Saranac restaurant, following an unfortunate confrontation with an automobile. A few years ago she brought Smitty home to Garden City, where he became an important part of the Bowden household, seated happily at the player piano in the living room.
Subsequently, Smitty became known to many as the subject of several delightful narratives written by Pamela. Pamela participated in the phase II clinical trials of both Gleevec (Dana- Farber Cancer Institute, December 2000), and SU11248 (Memorial Sloan- Kettering, January 2003). She is survived by her three older sisters, Barbara, Juliana Schmitt and Emily. A Mass of Resurrection was celebrated Sept. 3 at St. Joseph’s Church in Garden City.