Pam Padget: She loved pink and people

July 2, 2014

“BIG AS LIFE:” Pam Padget, owner of Pamela & Co. on the Granbury square, counselor and Realtor, died Friday after a short battle with cancer. Her many friends described her as “big as life.”

Nancy Pricer

Hood County News

Granbury icon Pam Padget would have liked her funeral.

It mirrored an Easter Sunday service as many of the 400 mourners wore hats and pink in her honor.

Padget loved pink.

She died Friday at home surrounded by family and friends.

She was 66.

The service Sunday afternoon at Acton United Methodist Church was full of stories about Padget that had family and friends both laughing and crying.

Initial reports were that Padget had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

The final diagnosis was that she had intravascular lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

The cancer manifested itself in her brain, but had spread to other parts of her body.

“Wednesday (June 18) was doomsday,” said Judy Patterson who has been with Padget since the beginning of Pamela & Co. on the Granbury square in 2002.

June 18 was when Padget was told she had cancer.

“She had been in the hospital for six weeks and had a series of strokes since March,” Patterson said.

Amy Revett, Padget’s daughter, said the strokes were caused by the cancer causing blood clotting in her brain.

The native Texan moved to Granbury in 1991 to marry Larry Padget who had been a longtime Granbury physician.

He died in November after a long battle with cancer.

“Pam made a splash when she came here,” said Scott Young, president of the Historic Granbury Merchants Association.

“She was flamboyant, colorful and full of life.”

A personality like that lends itself to involvement in multiple projects and activities.

Padget was a Realtor and professional counselor.

She was the author of two books, “Seven Steps to Change” and “Billie Sol: King of Texas Wheeler-Dealers.”

Pamela & Co. was representative of her personality. The store is filled with unique clothing and gifts along with gourmet food and her famous fudge.

“It’s all about the bling,” said Pam Youker, a former manager of the store. “Even the kitchen and the bathroom.”

“And the more bling the better,” added Padget’s sister Dawn Stevens. “She loved making things beautiful.”

She seemed to do that with the community and her employees.

She was involved in many organizations, but Brenda Hyde, event coordinator for the Historic Granbury Merchants Association (HGMA), recalled Padget’s involvement in the Lake Granbury Area Beautification Council.

“We couldn’t have gotten half the things we did for the community without Pam,” she said.

Young recalls an incident in 2012 when the Christmas trees on the square were knocked down and broken by strong winds.

“I thought, ‘What the heck are we going to do?’ Pam said, ‘Give me five minutes,’ and five minutes later the city cherry picker came and fixed it.

“Pam was behind the scenes. but very much in charge.”

She was still very much in charge up to the end.

When Padget recently found out her cancer was advanced, she said, “I want Judy to make a casket (cover) out of mesh, and I want it gaudy,” according to Patterson.

“And it definitely has character and personality.”

All of Padget’s employees agreed on many things about her but two in particular – she promoted delegation and lipstick.

“She’d say, ‘Delegate, delegate, delegate, and put your lipstick on,’” said Patterson.

“This is how I describe Pam, she was the center of the body of an octopus. She gives everybody a tentacle to delegate, so we were all bouncing off her tentacles.”

“There was never a dull moment with Pam,” said longtime friend Teresa Kirby, who used to be Pam’s assistant. “We were always laughing.”

Even while lying ill in the hospital, she was delegating.

“She wanted us to make fruit cups (to sell in the store) and wanted to see a prototype,” Kirby said.

“Two hours later she was already calling to see if we had a prototype made for her!”

She was friends with her employees, and she was a source of inspiration for them.

“She taught us how to be assertive,” Patterson said. “She taught us how to love ourselves.”

And Padget made them feel loved.

“She gave us love,” said Padget’s assistant Kathy Davis.

“She was just the funniest, happiest and craziest person.”

“I’ve never seen anyone with so much self-esteem,” said Cindy Fricks, current manager of Pamela & Co.

“She was not afraid of anything.”

However, it wasn’t always that way.

Padget’s father was Texas legend Billie Sol Estes.

Estes spent two high-profile stints in prison on federal fraud and conspiracy charges (1965-1971 and 1979-1983) and had made multiple millions along the way.

According to Padget’s book “Seven Steps to Change,” Padget was only 14 in 1962 when her father was accused of looting a federal crop subsidy program.

She and her brother were watching TV in their home in Pecos when the announcer interrupted the program to say, “Billie Sol Estes is in the Pecos Jail.”

Her formative years were spent at her father’s trials or visiting him in prison. She also had to live with rejection from others because of her father’s actions.

The turning point in her life came while she was working her way through a graduate program in marital and family therapy.

Through sheer determination and seeking help from therapists, she overcame feelings of powerlessness, self-destructive behaviors and low self-esteem.

“She was able to create her own happiness,” said Revett.

It would appear her experiences led her to want to help others overcome their individual situations.

Revett recalled her mother always helping others and having a loving spirit.

“She loved people, even the unlovable,” she said. “She would do what she could to help people.”

Revett recall telling her mother she had helped so many people her crown in heaven would be heavy.

She said her mom just laughed and said, “I know. I won’t be able to hold my head up!”

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