Pamela Carol Schultheis
Pamela Carol Schultheis returned to Peace on February 11, 2023. She was comforted by the
love and care of her family in all her days, especially her last days, along with the reverent and
professional staff of Fish Memorial Hospital in Orange City; especially the Hospice nurses who
provide the most sacred care every day.
Pam was born in 1942 in San Francisco CA to Ralph and Muriel Ratto. She had one beloved and close sister, Valerie; the two were inseparable if at times rivalrous.
Pam was a lifelong girl scout at heart. As a teen counselor, she snuck an awkward and lanky boy into the girl scout camp in the high Sierra. He slept overnight in a storage shed, Pam and
Jim were married 2 years later and had 59 years together. Their marriage, made of mutual respect and teamwork, is a model for all who could plainly see the love and care they had for
Pam studied to be a nurse, but her real calling was her family and she served them with the
kindest attention. She is survived by two children: Rob of Thermopolis WY, and John (partner
Jennie) of Red Hook NY. She and Jim raised their boys to be strong, independent, and
sensitive. Both boys are excellent cooks, a skill they learned from her. Pam, always humble,
may have thought of herself as a “mom cook”, but in reality, she was a master chef of the
highest order, Michelin would award her two stars if they could. 3 dear grandchildren, Ella and
Noah of Red Hook NY, and Micah, of Los Angeles CA were loved, cared, and cooked for by
Pam. As a grandmother, Pam shone. A photo of her holding her youngest grandson Noah
positively radiates warmth and joy.
While her children were young, Pam volunteered for the PTA in Miami FL. A proud achievement
was working to build a large native garden, known as Kenwoods, at Kenwood Elementary
School, before being “green” was cool. She showed that anything will grow with care, even a
Pam could never say no to a worthy cause or a person in need. She loved listening to music,
as well as the weekly radio show A Prairie Home Companion . The show’s “news” segment
always ended with “That’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where the women are strong, the men
are good-looking, and the children are above average.” Indeed, this could be Pam’s motto; she
knew to always look for the good and she knew that as you seek, so shall you find.
Pam later worked as a tax preparer. Upon retirement, she and Jim traveled the world. Together
they visited every continent, making memories and friends with fellow travelers. The pair also
enjoyed a classic car hobby together, including completing The Great Race twice - a
cross-country race using old cars.
Pam was a breast cancer survivor. Despite health setbacks, Pam never complained or pitied herself. Her reserve of strength was unending. She was not inclined to credit a deity; Pam was perhaps best described as an optimist and humanist. Above all she was kind, and she
demonstrated civility and forgiveness at every turn. She believed abundantly in non-violence and knew that peace is always possible.
Music was a comfort to Pam in her last days. A favorite song was sung by Willie Nelson:
“When we meet up yonder; We’ll stroll hand-in-hand again; In the land that knows no parting; blue eyes crying in the rain.”
A celebration of life is planned for March 18 at Lankford Funeral Home, DeLand. The family will
receive visitors from 2 pm to 3pm; a service will follow at 3 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Pam’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Girl Scouts of Northern California.