PAMELA J. MAPES, age 71, born Oct. 9, 1947 in Port Huron, MI, passed away June 19, 2019 after a lengthy illness. Survived by her husband of 47 years David Mapes, her son Christopher Lee Mapes, grandson Kyle Christopher Donahue, brothers Hadley Hurford Jr. (wife Peggy) of Lyndhurst and Robert Hurford (wife Barbara) of Columbus, OH, and their children. Funeral Services 10 a.m. Friday at THE FIORITTO FUNERAL HOME 5236 MAYFIELD RD., LYNDHURST (EAST OF RICHMOND RD.) WHERE FRIENDS MAY CALL THURSDAY FROM 4-8 P.M. Interment Chester Cemetery, along-side Dave's great grandfather, the first Mapes to live in Chesterland at the end of the Civil War.
Dave's tribute to Pamela, in his own words.
To one great lady...
Once upon a time in the land of Chesterland, Ohio, a family moved to Chesterland from Michigan, and a sailor for the US Navy returned home. I had graduated from high school, went to Houghton College in the summer of '66-two semesters of English in the summer. First semester, I had fun and a grade of D, the second semester, I got a grade of B, but in the spelling part, for every word misspelled, two points came off the semester grade. My B turned into a C and I could not go back until the next semester.
There was a place that we did not know where it was, but Americans were dying there. Following in my brother-in-law's steps, I went to the Navy recruiter, took the test, and missed only one question, valve from a car engine. The 26th of September 1966, my mom drove me to the Leader Building. After parading around in my skivvies for a while, I was sworn in, climbed in a Pullman car, and went to Chicago, Illinois. After boot camp, I went to the USS Yosemite and 19 where, you guessed. I became a machinist. Ten days before, my 21st birthday, I was discharged and back home. I worked for the City of Mayfield Heights and the greenhouse in Spring and Summer. The greenhouse was to be my profession. I went to a church youth group bowling event. There was a young lady who had the hots for me. We started dating. She had a little green Corvair. I had a red Ford convertible. We took her Corvair on a date from her house. My car was in her drive. When I came back, I jumped in my car. I started it and the transmission just whirred. The car had been jacked just so the tires were off the ground. Pam worked for Dr. Persky and Dr. Albert at University Hospital. July 10, 1971 we were married at Willow Hill Church, Kirtland, Ohio. June 30, 1971, the back apartment became empty. In nine days, I completely re-did the apartment, floors, ceilings, cupboards, and walls - the whole works. We went to New Hampshire on our Honeymoon, up the White Mountain on the train. By the way, the day before, I ate some chicken and got food poisoning-an exciting train ride. We came home and the neighbor decided he was going to Florida. After he had retired from Nela Park tool room, we purchased the home he had lived in for twenty years. By the way, my grandfather sold the land for $300 an acre, and the house had to have a value of $5000. The basement was dug with a team and slip scoop. My grandfather helped with the house. The first owner was a bread truck driver. Extra bread was made into hooch during prohibition. Oh, buy the way my dad rented the apartment October 1, and Pam and I lived two houses in three months, and she was working at University Hospital. Pam continued working for the doctors for awhile. My mom was ill, a a family meeting was called and Pam and I bought the greenhouse.
Pam wanted a flower shop, so on the 20th of November, my dad and I staked out a twenty-four by sixty-four foot building on Thanksgiving. If you ate, you worked. Ron Woodie came along and said, "Would you like a hand putting the trusses up?" He worked for Pepsi. One night, I had sheets of plywood lying on the roof and terrible storm came up, I was out there with a flashlight and some nails. I had a heater to put up in the ceiling. I was in the tractor bucket. Pam was operating the bucket. The bucket almost put me through the roof! Jim Paltani put the cement floor in, so on the 13th of December, the store opened with heat, light, cement floor and tables for making wreaths tat the people were waiting in line for. Pam had a flower shop in 25 days and $270 for the cement floor installation. We put flowers in the refrigerator until I found a cooler at the Red Cross. I bought it, took it apart, brought it home, and installed it. Mr. Hunter put the refrigeration together and we had a flower cooler with ABO and Rh plus and minus on them. Pam had a flower shop. Pam went to Robin Art Flower School. She became a great floral designer, the flower shop grew and grew. We bought cut flowers that were air shipped in weekly. Pam's skill made the flower shop grow quickly. Poly houses housed green plants and flowers. Pam and I worked together doing whatever needed to be done. One Mother's Day there were three rows of cars in the parking lot getting Pam's flowers.
Pam had had some medical issues at age 17, and she was burnt with cobalt radiation causing great pain and wound issues. She had about sixty hospitalizations over the years, but was always there with a smile. Chris, our son, came into our lives, Pam had a flower shop/greenhouse and two kids, Chris and me. We were together 24/7. We worked together, supported each other, lived, loved, laughed and cried with and for each other.
Some of the radiated skin broke down, causing her great pain and suffering. Together, we supported each other and were committed to each other's wellbeing. Some great, great, great doctors were by our sides. Dr. Jason Leedy, Dr. Anthony Rizzo, Dr. Dews, Dr. Gustaferro, Dr. Rackley, Dr. Garafalo, Dr. Mattee, Dr. Ta Maskar, Dr. Bird, Dr. Bower all worked to combat the effects of the cobalt radiation. The combination of these doctors, Pam's spirit, and medical treatment and with the support of those around her, she did great things and earned the love and respect of customers and friends. She had a smile and cheerful personality while having a bladder that was like raw hamburger inside, and a wound that had a wound vac for one and a half years. With tailbone exposed, twenty-four weeks of IV antibiotics, as many as four times a day, a 13 inch abdominal wound was one layer from her bladder. With cancerous growth that grew at a pace never before seen at Hillcrest, she was also helping the mother of several litters of Springer Spaniel pups. Pam was my wife of forty-seven years. We had a home filled with love for each other with only a few disagreements, and never an angry word. We went on many cruises- The Caribbean, Mexico, Aruba, Costa Rica, Columbia, Venezuela, The Canary Islands, Morocco, Alaska, The Panama Canal, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, San Bals Island. We went rafting, tubed a snake-infested river through a mountain, went to some great wineries, visited the Seattle Fish Market, some great wineries, Disney and MGM, went to the Grand Canyon, RV-ing, Pam caught a shark, Sedona, Arizona, Shell Grand Prix races, went to Raceway Seven, many Shell events, for years we grew seven thousand flats of flowers for Shell Oil Company to plant in their stations.
The Veteran's Day plaques, well over 4000 in number have gone all over the world!
Please share in honoring and celebrating her life and legacy with me.
Thank you, Dave