Pamela McMahan

Profile Updated: April 15, 2017
Residing In Vashon, WA USA
Spouse/Partner Jacob Schlumpf
Family 2 incredible daughters: Erin Shevaugn Schlumpf and Brightin Rose Schlumpf
Yes! Attending Reunion
What kind of work have you done over the years?

I've worked as a writer, reporter, editor and program manager for newspapers, non-profit organizations, arts organizations and schools. And, there is a long list of volunteer slogs putting in mucho hours of community fundraising and providing policy guidance for schools, youth orchestras, youth sports, non-profit boards of directors, local parish church, etc.

High points of your life since high school?

Married for 43 years to Jake (Jack) Schlumpf, a '67 Bellarmine, Tacoma grad and fellow University of Washington alum. We are parents of two great girls - a college professor (comparative literature) and a professional musician (violin and viola).
We moved to Vashon Island the year we were married (1974), a fine, frolicking land of counter-culture, beautiful forests, open fields and rocky beaches. Except for a two-year hiatus to a teaching job in Walla Walla, we lived on Vashon until 1996 - then off to Texas (gasp!) for 4 years, Philadelphia (4 years), Boston/Cambridge (2 years), Seattle, and finally back to Vashon in 2012. A backwards circumnavigation of the United States which broadened our horizons, expanded our thinking and made us truly appreciate our Pacific NW roots.

Holy Names Academy Story

First, my favorite teacher: Sister Margaret Laurene: In 9th grade Ancient History class we studied world religions, and I particularly remember her fascinating journey through the study of Judaism; in 10th grade, she taught English, and in her explanation of poetic forms, she used my name, Pamela McMahan, as a great example of euphony. I loved that, and I also learned a lot about poetry. When I was a senior I was part of the HNA delegation to a Speech and Debate Tournament in Spokane, and the night before we left Sister sent me a little note with a small silver medal of St. Paul enclosed. Her note read, "Pam, good luck at the tournament - you can be like St. Paul, who was truly eloquent." That was a big boost for me, and I have never forgotten her thoughtful encouragement.

The other big memory from Holy Names was the amazing soundtrack that permeated our lives at that time, starting with all the iconic tunes on "Meet the Beatles" in 9th grade ("I Want to Hold Your Hand"); some truly amazing soul music; some bubble gum but still hard to resist songs from Sonny and Cher, the Turtles ("Happy Together"), the Association ("Never My Love") and edgier music toward the end of high school from groups like the Doors ("Light My Fire").

And of course, our first fall at Holy Names was punctuated by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November. I was in 4th period study hall, someone had a transistor radio and we heard the news, and we all immediately headed up to the school chapel.

I also loved playing basketball on our class team all 4 years, Friday nights at Dick's on Broadway, sneaking up to the Dome, writing the script for "Wizard of Oz" with Margie Doyle, the yearly carnival and many other memories.

What have you always wanted to do that you haven't done yet?

Write more; read more; go on a long, multi-day bike ride adventure; grow more flowers and veggies; learn to sing better; be part of a group that succeeds in making meaningful social and political change happen.