Pamela's Story

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee - Pamela Grady Karwan, 68, died peacefully on July 30, 2016.
She was born on September 16, 1947 in Cooperstown, NY, the daughter of William and Kathryn (Kraham) Grady.
Pam graduated from Cooperstown Central School, class of 1965. As president of the CCS Drama Club, she was involved in a number of the school's theatrical productions. She also enjoyed acting as a member of the Pioneer Players and at the Duke's Oak Playhouse during summers in the 1960s. She took great pride in being a Native Daughter of Cooperstown.
Following her love of the arts, Pam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and English from Marymount College in 1969.
After college graduation, she moved to Nashvillle, her fathers hometown, where she worked in the promotion department at WSM-TV. There, she acted in promos for a local program and in radio spots for an area business. She went on to serve in public relations for the Grand Ole Opry and Opryland USA.
In 1976, she married John (Jack) T. Karwan and shared 23 happy years with him in Columbia, MD until his unexpected death in 1999.
While in Maryland, she began a distinguished 20+ year career in not-for-profit healthcare at Howard County General Hospital: A Member of John's Hopkins Medicine, where she served as Vice President for Public Relations, Marketing, and Community Services. In addition, she honed her fund development and special events skills at Howard Hospital Foundation, which provides philanthropic support for the hospital.

Following her husband's death, Pam returned to her beloved Cooperstown. During this time, she worked as Director of Media Relations for Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY before joining Bassett Healthcare and the Friends of Bassett, serving as a fund development and PR liaison with Bassett Hospital of Schoharie County in Cobleskill, NY and O'Connor Hospital in Delhi, NY.
In 2008, Pam moved to Surprise, AZ, where her daughter Julie, and son-in-law Mike Donick provided her "forevermore favorite role" as Nonni, to her identical twin granddaughters, Kathryn Johanna (Kate) and Mary Elizabeth (Maisey). While in Arizona, Pam established the Fund Development Department at Arizona Broadway Theatre in Peoria, and served as its first director.
She was pleased to serve on the Hanford Mills Museum Board of Trustees in East Meredith, NY, and to provide community services to Brookwood Garden in Cooperstown, and the Howard County Public Library in Columbia, MD.
Pam was known for her love of not-for-profit institutions and was determined to work on behalf of those with inspirational missions, visions, and values that seek to improve the lives of mankind. She was a dedicated and meticulous professional whose passion, creativity, and intelligence contributed immensely to the mission of the institutions and communities she served.
After retiring, Pam returned to Tennessee in May 2014 and married (Frank) Leigh Branham, Jr. whom she had met and dated 40 years earlier in Nashville.
After her stage-four pancreatic cancer diagnosis in December of 2014, she was determined to extend her life for as long as modern medicine, a large circle of prayer, and her own strong will would allow. Instead of surviving only six to twelve months she made it to twenty through the love and prayers of family, friends, and the loving guidance of Gildas Club of Nashville.
With her warm smile, genuine empathy, loving kindness, natural vibrancy, entertaining sense of humor, and hearty laugh, Pam had a way of instantly endearing herself both to strangers and those who became life-long friends. Her extended family admired her authenticity, caring, generosity, strength, and stunning beauty, both inside and out. She was a woman who loved fully and truly.
Pam was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, daughter, son in law, and her two little heartstrings. She leaves her brother, Kevin Grady, wife, Pati, and nephews, Matt and Chris Grady and their families, all of Cooperstown, NY. In addition, Pam is survived by an aunt, an uncle, four nieces, and a close-knit network of cousins.
She will be remembered and cherished in many hearts throughout the country for her courage, fierce loyalty, and sparkling personality.
A funeral will be held at 2pm on August 27 at the Cornwallville Church on the grounds of The Farmers Museum in Cooperstown. A reception will follow on site at the Louis C. Jones Center. Following the reception, there will be a private burial.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Pams memory may be made to Gildas Club of Nashville (www.gildasclubnashville.org) or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org).
Published on August 18, 2016
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