Pam Lajiness

August 28, 1946 - April 11, 2015
Lawton, MI



Thursday, April 16, 2015
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food and beverages will be served.

Driving Directions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

ALS Association
1275 K Street NW - Suite 250
Washington DC 20005
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


All who knew Pamela Lajiness would agree that life was never boring when she was around. Whether she was making a mess with dinner, backing up into something, or showing off her latest pair of crazy socks, she was always making people laugh. Pam also had a more serious side, too, and was deeply devoted to her work and the community she called home. She was a loving wife to be sure, but it was easy to see that her daughter, Meagan, was the apple of her eye, and when grandchildren came along there were simply more people to love. Gracious, kindhearted, and gentle, Pam will be deeply missed and forever remembered by all who were blessed to know and love her.

During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were fighting for the preservation of our freedoms in WWII. In 1945, America and our allies declared victory, and there was dancing in the streets. As our military personnel returned home, the baby boom got underway, which caused an explosion in the new home industry as well. It was while our nation was making the shift to being a nation of peace once again that Archer and Gwendolyn (Nelson) Wright were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as the summer heat held the city of Battle Creek, Michigan, firmly in its grip in 1946. The big day finally arrived on August 28th when the baby girl they named Pamela Gwyne drew her first breath. She was one of four children in her family, and she was raised in both East Lansing and Brighton alongside her siblings, Stephen, Kathy, and Gregory.

Even from a young age Pam was a bustle of activity. She was forever mixing up her words such as the time she announced that she would marry a pheasant one day, meaning a peasant, while at the dinner table. For years she danced competitively in both middle school and high school, performing the Irish jig, often with her friend, Carol. Pam did travel a bit to places like Detroit and Windsor for her dancing as well. While in elementary school, Pam volunteered to bring home a blue racer snake over spring break to watch over it. She ended up losing it - at least until Steve came home from college and found it under his bed! Pam graduated from local schools and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Michigan University. She later earned her master’s degree as well. Her psychology professor, Professor Howard Ferris, saw Pam bar tending at Wayside and told her he wanted to see her in his office the next day. Completely impressed with her, he made her his teaching assistant.

Throughout her life Pam had an insatiable spirit of adventure. Her junior year was spent in Belfast, Ireland, visiting her mother’s homeland. Pam and her sister, Kathy, went to Europe during the summer of 1966 when they got evicted from a hostel in Germany because Pam put a rock in the back door so she could get back in after curfew. Pam also lived in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco during its heyday, and she later lived in Honolulu for a year where she made tables out of monkey-pod wood. Wherever her travels took her over the years, she “rescued” rocks to add to her rock garden. Although she loved traveling, Pam had a terrible sense of direction as she almost always got lost. She also had issues backing up the car including the time she managed to back up the car from the passenger seat, backing into and uprooting a tree in the process!

With her education behind her, Pam was excited to embark on a rewarding career. She spent some time counseling abused children for Van Buren County Mental Health. This is where she met her lifelong best friend, Zoe Schuitmaker, and her husband, Harold. Pam co-founded Parents Anonymous and Therapist Aide Program and Assertiveness Training in Van Buren County with Zoe. She helped establish programs for students in need in Houston, Texas, and she also worked as a real estate agent in Houston for a time. Pam additionally worked with juvenile delinquents for the State of Washington and as a child welfare licensing consultant for the State of Michigan for 13 years until retiring in 2013.

New and exciting changes were in store for Pam when she met the man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was James Allen Lajiness, and after falling deeply in love they were married on October 16, 1982, in Houston, Texas. Together Pam and her husband loved life with her stepdaughter, Jodi, and the daughter they welcomed together, Meagan, who was born on December 21, 1983. From the moment she was born, Meagan was the apple of her mother’s eye, and they became best friends. As her family and friends can attest, Pam couldn't cook to save her life as she couldn’t even boil an egg. She did try at times including the time she made a casserole with noodles, but she neglected to cook the noodles ahead of time. Needless to say, it was so bad that even the dog wouldn’t eat it! Pam always loved animals and had several pets including most recently their dogs, Bailey and Cracker, and their cat, Lucy.

All who knew Pam Lajiness would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She had the best sense of humor and loved to laugh with a passion for life that was such an inspiration. Pam never met a stranger, and everyone who met her fell instantly in love with her. She will never be forgotten.

Pam Lajiness, of Lawton, died on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Pam’s family includes her husband, Jim; daughter, Meagan Underwood and step-daughter, Jodi Komarck; 4 grandchildren: Hunter, Hayden, and Tyler Komarck, and Kaleb Underwood; 2 brothers: Stephen (Sally) Wright, Gregory (Ellen) Wright; sister, Kathy Wright; and 12 nieces and nephews. Learn more about Pam and visit with her family and friends with food and drink from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 16th at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Dr., 375-2900. Please visit Pam’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you may sign her guestbook before coming to the funeral home, archive a favorite memory or photo. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the ALS Association.