PAMELA ODGERS née Healey:
July 27, 1927 – September 2, 2020
Pam was born in London, England in 1927 to an English father and an American mother. She and her twin sister Pat had an older sister Vivien and two half-sisters from previous marriages of both parents. They grew up in a well-to-do household with servants, the most beloved of whom was their nanny known as “Nurse,” to whom Pam remained utterly devoted. Educated by governesses until the age of eight, the twins were then sent to boarding school.
After the war broke out in 1939, their parents decided that it was too dangerous for their daughters to remain in England, so in June of 1940, they sailed to the United States with their mother, who had arranged for them to attend a boarding school in Virginia. There Pam distinguished herself as a student and athlete, excelling at languages and becoming especially good at basketball and tennis. She enjoyed school but was very homesick for England, and as she put it,“wanted to know what the war was like,” so after graduating in 1944, she recrossed the Atlantic in October.
Wanting to earn her own money, she got a job in the Graduate Student Office at Cambridge University, where she met and fell in love with an Australian astronomy student, Graham Odgers, who was working on his PhD. They married in 1949 and moved to Victoria when he was offered a job at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. Pam and Graham had three children, Christopher, Katharine, and Patricia, and she always said she felt more Canadian after having her children. She loved to travel and spoke good French and German. In 1958 and 1961 she accompanied her husband on two fascinating trips to the Soviet Union, during which she wrote a series of interesting articles published in The Victoria Colonist about life in the U.S.S.R.
In 1970-71 she had her much coveted year in Provence when Graham was working at the Observatoire de Marseille and the family rented a villa in nearby Aix-en-Provence. Independent, intrepid, intelligent, articulate, adventurous, Pam went back to school in her forties and got a history degree at Uvic. A good writer, she wrote a lively and memorable memoir, And Some of Us Much Worse, in her seventies. Also a good singer, she sang in choirs her whole life, including the Victoria Choral Society, the Uvic Chorus, the Monterey Singers and the Gordon Head VIM choir, which she attended with her daughters. Pam’s voice in the choir and in the world continues to be greatly missed.
– Submitted by Niki Sacoutis
My husband Jeremiah Hayes – “Jerry” to me – was born in New York City on July 8,1934 and died in Victoria on May 8, 2018. He was respected and admired throughout his life for both his professional accomplishments and a sharp and funny wit that consistently entertained his family and friends.
As a child of Irish immigrants in the U.S., he also had Irish citizenship and took great pride in his Irish heritage.
Jerry became an award-winning professor of Electrical Engineering. He received degrees from Manhattan College, New York University, and his obtained his PhD from the University of California in Berkeley. He taught at Purdue University then worked at Bell Labs. There, his paper on the Viterbi Algorithm Applied to Digital Data Transmission was honoured by the IEEE Communication Society for being among the 10 best papers ever to appear in the Communication Society. Jerry went on to teach in Montreal at McGill University and was also the Chair at Concordia University. Later he joined UViC as an adjunct professor in 2005.
Jerry had 4 children, Mary, Annie, Jeremiah and Martin with his first wife, Florence.
Jerry and I married in August 1997. We both retired and moved to Victoria in 2004.
Jerry was a very interesting and complex man. A serious scientist, he nevertheless advocated for a broader, more “open” education for engineering students.
A Renaissance man, he was exceptionally well read, warm, humorous, politically involved and understanding of human foibles and eccentricities. The life of a party, we depended on him for new limericks and an endless supply of jokes that seemed to come to him out of thin air. He loved hiking, long bike rides and visiting interesting places. He studied history and enjoyed classical music, dance, plays and movies.
He was on the board of Island Writer Magazine and won a number of prizes for his creative, non-fiction stories.
As his health dwindled, he maintained an amazing determination to live well to the end – taking walks, going to the opera and attending a symphony concert just two weeks before he died. Sadly, he could not sing in the inaugural Voices in Motion concert in May 2018.
Jerry, mon Amour, an exceptional man!