The life and compassionate works of Pamela (Pam) Watson were honoured at her funeral held on May 31 in the Catholic Church in Waikanae.
Pauline McGlinchey of Our Lady of Kapiti Parish described Pam as "a lady who lived out the gospel in her service to the homeless and those on the margins of society".
"A lady of courage, faith and compassion, she could be very stubborn and although her own health was failing she was all about the needs of others."
Dr Brian Hooper, retired minister of the Baptist Church, spoke of his long association with Pam as an honour and a privilege.
Recounting her family background, he said she had been born Pamela June Schultz to Augustus and Neva Schultz.
She grew up in Ohura in the King Country with her two older sisters, Rhoda, now deceased, and Gloria.
Pam's first job was as a cook's assistant at Braemar Birthing Hospital in Hamilton where she also took on nurse aide duties.
She was encouraged to move to Wellington for nursing training.
She did not complete her training, instead moving to a career as a telephonist at the Inland Revenue Department.
On September 16, 1966 Pam married Andrew Watson; she was 26 and he was 57.
Andrew owned a house in Matai Rd and there they began their life's work together taking in folk who needed a home.
When Andrew died Pam took a mortgage over a house in Rimu Rd and soon all bedrooms were filled with those who needed a place to stay.
Dr Hooper said Pam kept many of her boarders on their appropriate medication.
She took them to appointments with doctors and dentists. "But the one I remember was of an elderly Chinese man who couldn't speak English.
"As he lay in bed with a terminal illness, Pam put a mattress beside his bed and tended to his every need until he passed away."
Pam's stubborn streak was often exhibited and she was known to have run-ins with authorities.
She was also known for her eccentric driving habits and was ticketed on occasion for her slow and inconsiderate driving.
Father Michael McCabe, officiating priest, commented on the wide spectrum of people who were represented.
There were organisations and individuals who had encountered Pam including representatives from Kāpiti Coast District Council, police, health care professionals and pharmacists as well as representatives of various churches.
Former work colleagues from the Inland Revenue Department were also present.
Father McCabe had a special welcome for members of "Pam's family" from the Matai Rd house.
Pam has been buried alongside her husband Andrew in Whenua Tapu cemetery.
Pamela June Watson — June 2, 1940 to May 25, 2018