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Pamela Charles Parker Chilson
March 1, 1950 ~ December 27, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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Pamela Charles Parker Chilson, of Oldsmar, Florida passed away unexpectedly at the age of 73 on Wednesday, December 27, 2023. She is survived by her husband of 44 loving years Truman John Chilson, her twin sons Josh and Jason Chilson, her daughters-in-law, Michelle and Julie, her sister Beth (Bob) Carroll and her beloved grandchildren James, Jaxon, Olivia, Emily and Joseph. She was preceded in death by her son Jesse Chilson, her parents Amy and Robert Parker, and her brother Robert Parker, Jr.
Pam was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 1, 1950. She and her family moved to Florida in the 1950s. She was a proud graduate of the Largo High School Class of 1968. Pam graduated from St. Petersburg College with an associate’s degree in General Education and the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education. After graduating, she took several special needs children into her home. She went on to get her master’s degree in Physical Education from the University of South Florida, her educational specialist degree in Counseling and Administration from Wichita State University and was ABD on her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Wichita State University.
A life-long educator, Pam taught special education, was a school principal, a counselor, and a school administrator. She was a strong servant leader who was a trailblazer for women in education leadership and women in leadership everywhere. She was a caring, passionate educator who worked at every level of education to better the lives of all her students. Her 40+ years spent as an educator took her from the beaches of Florida to the mountains of Montana and to the prairies of Kansas, then back home to Florida after her sons graduated from high school and college. In Kansas she taught in Winfield, Arkansas City and Derby and was the school principal and counselor of Dexter public schools. She then served ten dutiful years in Wellington, Kansas as the Director of Special Education for Sumner County Interlocal District 619, a cooperative school district that provides special education services to students in Belle Plaine, Oxford, Argonia, Caldwell, and South Haven public schools. While leading District 619, seeing a population of students who weren’t getting the services she thought they needed, she started Crossroads Academy which has since been renamed Sumner County Academy. SCA is a school for special needs students that is still going strong 30 years later. Upon returning home to Florida, she was the counselor and behavior specialist at Safety Harbor Secondary School, Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School and Cross Bayou Elementary School. After years spent in school administration, Pam was happy to return to the classroom and to school counseling to be closer to her students. She was also a longtime volunteer for the Special Olympics. Always working to support and provide strong values for her sons, she also volunteered for the Boy Scouts while her twin sons, Jason and Josh, were scouts.
Pam’s love and dedication for teaching was second only to the love she had for her family. Her husband, her three sons, her five grandchildren, her mother and father, her brother and sister and her many nieces and nephews were her absolute passion. She was blessed with a life-long soulmate in her husband John. They enjoyed 44 years of blissful marriage. Beyond her many professional accomplishments, Pam enjoyed the simple things in life. Walking the beach with family, spending time with her grandkids, having a glass of wine with her friends on Longboat Key, watching hummingbirds and most of all just sitting, smiling, laughing and listening to live music holding her husband John's hand.
She was a bright light with a heart of gold whose caring nature and infectious smile touched everyone she met. She spent her life doing good and helping others. She leaves a lasting legacy to her family, her many friends, her thousands and thousands of students, and hundreds of educators she hired and mentored over her four decades in education.
Pam’s family is heartbroken by her untimely passing. But they are comforted by the beautiful memories she leaves and the knowledge that she will now be at peace with the Lord and reunited with her son Jesse, her mother and father and her brother Rob.
Pam's funeral will be on Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 11 a.m. at Bayside Community Church at 3380 State Rd 580, Safety Harbor, FL 34695.