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Pamela Blake Strimbu, a longtime Arizona resident who recently moved to Fountain Hills, passed away peacefully on September 1, 2021, after losing a brave and courageous, off-and-on, 5-year battle with cancer. She was 75.
Pamela, whose many life passions included traveling to new and enchanting places and immersing herself in the wonders and cultures they offered, is survived by her loving spouse of 54 years, Dr. Jerry Strimbu, daughter Elizabeth Carol Strimbu, and son Christopher Thomas Strimbu and granddaughter Zoe Blake Strimbu. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews and many friends around the country and the world who entered her orbit.
Born in Englewood, NJ, on February 14, 1946, Pamela was the youngest child of Henry A. and Elizabeth Blake. It was fitting that her birthday fell on Valentine’s Day because through her entire life Pamela exuded love, generosity, and compassion to those around her and those less fortunate. She took great pride and enjoyment in her volunteer and charitable endeavors which included working with the homeless, migrant workers, St. Mary’s Food Banks, and several local church groups.
When she wasn’t helping others, Pamela was busy establishing herself in the business arena, beginning as a legal secretary and later joining Century 21 where she was a successful and respected Realtor for nearly 20 years. Pam also was an entrepreneur. Pam and Jerry owned a motorcycle/scooter franchise in Phoenix and later Pam assisted her daughter with the launch of a fledgling confectionery shop.
Although born in the Northeast, Pamela grew up in South Florida. After graduating from Pompano Beach High School in 1964, she attended both Broward Junior College and then Prospect Hall College where she graduated. It was at Broward Junior College where Pam met Jerry. The fell in love and married three years later in 1967 and their fairy tale life journey together began.
As Jerry pursued his education and career, they traveled around the country and the world and lived in such places as Boca Raton, FL, Detroit, Dallas, Athens, GA, Atlanta and Brussels, Belgium, finally settling in Scottsdale 20 years ago before moving to their new Fountain Hills Home.
Perhaps Pamela’s most memorable trip was this past June, three months before her death. Although weakened by her cancer treatments, she flew to Virginia for a long-delayed family memorial for her older sister Julia Jolinski who succumbed to lung cancer in April 2019. Pamela joined Julia’s children and grandchildren in fulfilling her dying wish – the spreading of her ashes among her beloved Blue Ridge Mountains
Although she lost her cancer fight, Pamela had no regrets. She had enjoyed a full life that exceeded her greatest expectations and was able to touch and help many along the way.
There will be a celebration of Pamela’s life at a later date. For those who wish to honor her memory, they can make donations in Pamela’s name to any of her favorite charities: American Cancer Society; Lutheran Charities; and St. Vincent DePaul.