To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Pamela Yurgartis (Wilkinson), please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
POTSDAM - Pamela Yurgartis, 68, died July 17, 2021 due to breast cancer. She was born to Margaret and Howard Wilkinson in Elmira Heights, NY and was raised there. She attended Edison High School where she was a stellar student and leader of the school marching band. Pam met her husband Steve while she was attending Cornell University. They were just kids, but they soon joined forces and spent the next 50 years together.
Pam was introduced to Potsdam in 1976 when they moved there so Steve could attend Clarkson University. After graduation they moved to various places around the country, including San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Troy, NY. In 1988 she returned to her beloved North Country when Steve accepted a teaching position at Clarkson.
Pam was a devoted mother to her three boys Benjamin (41), Gregory (38), and Thomas (35). She was also a skilled gardener who worked several summers at local garden centers. But it was for her volunteer commitments to the Potsdam community that Pam is best known and will be long remembered.
Her volunteer work included Treasurer of the Potsdam PTA, President of the Potsdam Public Library Board, Treasurer of the Friends of the Library, and, at the time of her death, was serving her twelfth year as President of the Potsdam Holiday Fund. Her dedication and selfless work resulted in many recognitions, including the NYS PTA Volunteer of the Year award and the SUNY Potsdam Leadership Through Service award. Through her efforts the Holiday Fund provided warm clothes, gifts, and food to hundreds of area children and seniors. She never let pass an opportunity to help someone.
In addition to her husband and children, she is survived by her mother, a younger brother (Casey), three daughters-in-law, (Maureen Piche, Amanda Sherman, and Shannon Mace), one grandchild (Matthew), and two step-grandchildren (Jace and Lucas Cantwell).
There will be no formal service, but calling hours will be held at the Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home in Potsdam on Saturday, July 31, from 2 to 5 p.m. For her many friends that live out of town, and her many friends in the area, there will be a celebration of Pam’s life sometime this fall, date and place to be announced.
Many friends helped her during her illness, too many to name here. But she had one particularly close group of girlfriends who called themselves “The Chicks.” They were wonderful. Thanks also to Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley for excellent care.
There can be no doubt Pam would be tickled if you made a donation in her honor to the Potsdam Holiday Fund, PO Box 827, Potsdam, NY 13676.