Pamela Van Wagenen

Pamela Van Wagenen (Gdowski)

Thursday, November 12th, 2020
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Pamela Van Wagenen, nee Gdowski, 63, of Chicago and formerly of Elgin; wife of the late Mark; mom of Amy; daughter of the late Anthony and Stephanie Gdowski; granddaughter of the late Peter and Anna Gdowski and Anna and Albert Strzalka; cousin of many.
Pam VanWagenen was born and raised in the great city of Chicago, IL. She loved sitting in the bleachers at the Cubs’ games and having weekly dinners with her family. Pam grew up to be quick witted, adventurous and independent. Soon she was off to college at Northern Illinois University where she found her soulmate Mark. It was truly love at first sight. He walked into her art appreciation class in overalls and Pam said, “If that boy sits next to me, we’re going to get married.” He sat right next to her and the rest is history! They got married shortly after college and soon were off on their new adventures of marriage and their careers.
Pam quickly became an international business woman at Motorola and was chosen to travel the world to give presentations and help their partners all over the world. London, Hong Kong, Australia and Japan among many others were soon added to her passport. Being a successful business woman was something Pam celebrated with great pride. What she was most proud of though was being an awesome mom.
Pam raised her daughter Amy with so much love. She attended every dance competition and recital Amy was at whether she was dancing, teaching or coaching. She pushed her to be her best and supported her every step of the way.
To know Pam was to love her. She had a contagious smile, a bubbly laugh and never showed up anywhere without some delicious homemade food! Pam was a vocal advocate for women’s rights, she loved the Chicago Cubs, adored her “fur children” Maxwell and Millie and was a proud “foodie.” Pam’s faith was at the center of her life. She recently got even more involved in her church at St. Hubert’s by writing petitions and lecturing. She reached out to many to make everyone’s lives around her better. She left this world better than she found it.
Memorial visitation Monday, November 16th, 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm at the Countryside Funeral Home and Crematory 1640 S. Greenmeadows Blvd. (at Barrington Rd.) Streamwood. Services will be private. Cremation private at the Countryside Crematory. In lieu of flowers donations to the American Cancer Society would be appreciated.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday, November 16th, 2020 | 3:00pm - 7:00pm
    Monday, November 16th, 2020 3:00pm - 7:00pm
    Countryside Funeral Home and Crematory, Streamwood
    1640 S. Greenmeadows Blvd. At Barrington Rd.
    Streamwood, IL 60107
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    St. Adalbert Cemetery
    6800 N. Milwaukee Ave.


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Private Condolence

Jim Elder

Posted at 02:09pm
Amy, your mom was a great lady. Being involved with her at St. Hubert was a great highlight of my life. She led us in writing petitions and we worked together as lector’s. Her faith, positive energy and love showed In everything she did. We will miss her and our parish will deeply miss her. We take comfort that your mom and dad are back together.

Carole Barelli

Posted at 01:53pm
Dear Amy, I was blessed to work with your Mom, at Motorola for over 25 years. During that time, she became my boss and mentor . Our work relationship took us all over the world lecturing and doing audits on Motorola Export Compliance. We had so many exciting and funny and fun adventures. Your Mom made friends wherever she went. You are so right when you say to know her was to love her. Over the years, your Mom became a very close friend and confidant to me. We became best friends that had a terrific professional relationship at Motorola. That friendship continued even after she left Motorola. I remember the day you were born and how proud and excited she was to be a new Mom of a beautiful baby girl. I also remember how she took care of your grandmother and was always there for your aging aunts. My prayers are with you and always remember, I am your Motorola Auntie Carole.

Angela Kriese

Posted at 01:23pm
Aunt Pam was my Godmother. She was the best Godmother I could have ever been blessed with. I will miss her tremendously and I know that she is a beautiful saint in heaven praying for me.

Dear Amy,
My prayers, condolences and thoughts are with you. Your mother was truly an angel in my life and I will never forget the love, kindness and joy she brought to my life.

God bless you, Amy.

Much love,

Denise Kriese Posted at 04:43pm

Dear Amy, I know this is later than I wanted it to be. I had actually written a note a month ago, but it somehow got deleted. what I want to say is that I am here for you if you need someone to talk to. I have many funny memories of Pam which I would love to share with you. The funniest being baking this weird cake and eating it going backwards up the stairs to our bedroom. Doing this, we were supposed to dream about the man we would marry. Guess what. We never dreamed about any man, but we both married Guys named Mark . Your mom had a laugh that was contagious. After knowing you mom so long, this meant that we both spent many hours of our lives laughing, and that is a good thing. Love and condolences to you. You are in my prayers, Denise

Joan Fine

Posted at 11:22am
Dearest Amy

Your Mom had earth wings which everyone felt when they first walked into TBJA ......
your Moms heavenly wings will hug you forever.... you are her beloved .... sending prayers wrapped in faith hope and love.
We are all here for you at TBJA...Joni Fine

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