Pamela Rose “Gypsy” Atkinson (Throne) was born November 20, 1952 in Walla Walla, Washington at Camp Hanford Army Base. Pamela is survived by her husband of 33 years, Raul Atkinson; two daughters Angela (Daniel) Berlogar and Madeline (Mark) Hunkins; a grandson, Henry Berlogar; her mother, Varsenig Haroian Throne; and her brothers, Jim Throne and David Throne. Pamela passed away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her family, after a three-year battle with cancer.
Pamela spent her childhood as an Army brat living all over the world. Washington, Italy, New Jersey, Illinois, and Germany. Pamela would often spend her time in her younger years with her brother Jim- playing croquet, playing army, playing monopoly marathons, and playing school (and actually teaching Jim basic math and reading). She was very involved in Girl Scouting all throughout elementary and middle school- going to summer camps, earning badges and doing community service. While living in Illinois, she enjoyed a very active Armenian lifestyle which included speaking Armenian fluently, family dinners and other Armenian community activities. While in Germany, she often shared stories of exploring castles with her brother Jim. She went to Kaiserslautern American High School in Germany where she was part of the choir and Girl Scouting. While her family lived in Germany, she was able to visit one of the five Girl Scout World Centers- Our Chalet in Adelboden, Switzerland, a place on her bucket list. In her college years in Illinois, she was in Concert Choral, where they competed all around Europe in singing competitions winning many of them. They won a singing contest with Concert Korral in Austria, one of her favorite memories. Pamela attended college at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she majored in Psychology and spent her free time counseling fellow students and, of course, Girl Scouting.
After college, she picked up her bags and trekked from Granite City, Illinois to San Francisco, California. She got a job as a recruiter and learned the tricks of the trade in her first job in California. In 1980 she began working for Harris Digital Telephone Systems as the employment manager. After a few years at Harris, she met Raul and ended up hiring him as a software engineer for the company. She knew at first sight that Raul was a keeper and the two were inseparable from then on. After a few years at Harris, she started her own recruiting business and was quite successful. While working and dating Raul, Pamela was actively involved in Girl Scouting in the Richardson Bay Association, which included working summers at Girl Scout Camp Arequipa in Fairfax.
In 1984, Raul proposed and they were married shortly after in Orinda, California, surrounded by a small group of friends and family. In 1986, Pamela and Raul bought a house in San Anselmo and soon after their daughter Angela was born. Pamela claims to have lost her killer instinct when Angela was born, and stopped her recruiting business to become a full-time mom. A few years after Angela was born, she started “A Surprise For You” gift basket business and was quite successful and she enjoyed creating beautiful baskets. In 1992, her second daughter, Madeline, was born. From then on, her life revolved around her two daughters and Girl Scouting, her two joys in life.
The Atkinson’s spent vacations together with family and friends traveling to the coast, the various states, Europe and even made it back to Egypt- her favorite place. Pamela’s passions throughout life included Girl Scouting in every way; Armenian, Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Native American artifacts and history; gardening and flowers; scrapbooking; jewelry wire wrapping; rocks and gems; playing guitar; playing games (backgammon and scrabble were her favorite); animals (and Animal Planet); reading; nature in all its forms; birds and feathers; being Green; she enjoyed treasure hunting; music and so much more.
As a 60-year Girl Scout, Pamela had a passion for strong empowering programs, opportunities for girls to lead, and outdoor programs that created lifelong memories. Her experiences during her youth Girl Scout years showed her how empowering these opportunities were, and she wanted all girls and young women to have similar opportunities. Pamela loved to create programs where girls could experience and learn about other strong women leaders, try new things that empowered them to reach for greater things, and to enjoy singing around a campfire and make new friends. Her efforts led to many local and Council/National awards including Outstanding Leader and Volunteer, Appreciation and Honor Awards, Thanks/Thanks II Badges, Maud Whalen, and the Chris Arkley Significant Impact Award, to name a few. Over the years she served in roles too numerous to list all of them, but maybe she trained you as a new leader, ran a Camporee where your daughter learned about Women of Distinction, ran an Arequipa Day camp session (11 years) or was the overall administrator (8 years), served as a Girl Scout Council delegate to the National convention, or recognized your service on an award committee. She worked to preserve the history of Arequipa and the history of Girl Scouts, and also consulted, when the physical demands became difficult. Many systems she put into place still serve our Girl Scouts in the local area. Her contributions will be appreciated for a long time to come, but her generous spirit will be greatly missed by many local Girl Scouts and adult Girl Scouts. Those of us who know and love her will honor her contributions at a campfire, singing songs, and roasting a marshmallow in celebration of a life well-lived.
She was always immensely proud of her daughters and their accomplishments and was constantly bragging to everyone about them. To her girls, she was the best mother, mentor, advice giver, friend and so much more and she was so looking forward to being the next Medz Mama to their children. To her husband, she was the best wife, friend, lover, companion and so much more. To her friends, she was the best friend, supporter, encourager and companion they could ask for. Her heart was always loving and open and would do anything for anyone.
The family asks you to join them on February 21, 2018 at 11am at Monte’s Chapel of the Hills in San Anselmo for a memorial service. There will be a celebration of life on July 8, 2018 at 3:30pm at Girl Scout Camp Arequipa in Fairfax. For more information and updates, please visit Legacy.com. Donations in memory of Pamela can be made to Arequipa Girl Scout Camp P.O. Box 774 Fairfax CA 94978 or made online at https://www.gsnorcal.org/en/donate-now/camp_arequipa.html