Pamela Macrae Bermingham
LONDONDERRY — Pamela Macrae Bermingham (née Pamela Anne Macrae) died peacefully January 15th, in Essex, CT. Pam was 89 years old; she was born on September 19 th , 1927 in New York City, NY to Anne McCrory Hinton and John Macrae, Jr. She is survived by five children, Eldredge Jr., Stephen, Douglass, Ned and Jill, and 14 grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother John Macrae III and 14 nieces and nephews. Pam was predeceased in 2004 by her husband of 54 years, Eldredge Langstaff Bermingham (Woolly), her daughter Anne Rutledge Bermingham (2009) and her sister Jill Macrae Witherbee (1979).
Pam grew up in Scarsdale, NY where she attended Edgemont School before graduating from Oldfields School in 1945. She married Woolly in 1950 and they lived and raised their 6 children in Rye, NY, then Sewickley, PA and finally South Londonderry, VT.
Pam was a remarkable mother, friend, athlete and coach. She led a life of exceptional accomplishment and dedication to her many communities, hitting her full stride in Sewickley. As a beloved coach at Sewickley Academy, she inspired her female athletes to fully recognize the superior qualities of their sports and their abilities, while ensuring her six children an exceptional Academy education. Pam demonstrated the same superior qualities herself as a fierce sportswoman and club champion many times over in tennis and paddle tennis. As a young woman, she blitzed her way to the 1958 National Platform Tennis finals, and a year later -- and much more importantly to her — introduced paddle tennis to western Pennsylvania, where she won many championships, including one while seven months pregnant! The energy that Woolly and Pam put into broadening the appeal and quality of paddle tennis led to their successive inductions into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996 and 1997.
Pam’s enthusiasm, passion and accomplishment was a community gift everywhere she lived. In Sewickley, she served on the boards of the YMCA and the Sewickley Valley Hospital. In Vermont, she was an active member of the Londonderry Arts and Historical Society and the Green Mountain Gardeners. Pam was a successful entrepreneur; she established Blue Ribbon Prizes to move sporting competitions towards prizes that would carry lifelong meaning. She was a founder and President of Mountain Valley Community Challenge, an organization that worked closely with the Vermont Land Trust, focusing on farm preservation and environmental stewardship.
The funeral service will be held on February 11th at 1 PM at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, CT. Everyone is welcome to attend and celebrate a life brilliantly lived. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Vermont Land Trust, on line at www.vlt.org or by mail to 8 Bailey Ave., Montpelier, VT 05602. We thank the Essex Meadow community and caregivers for their dedication and care during Pam’s final years. To share a memory of Pam or send a condolence to her family please visit www.rwwfh.com. Arrangements by the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook, CT.