Mom’s Life in Pictures

Well, that’s  not right. Mother’s life was much more than can be depicted in these few photographs. This is more a through-the-years photo essay–a snapshot of snapshots, limited by what has been scanned and is readily available and not in any particular order. (And unfortunately, misses her middle life altogether–maybe another time.)

Pam Dillard Coates: 10/11/1923-7/7/2020

Circa 1936–sisters (l-r) Bobbie, Jeannette, Phyllis, Mom.

Circa 1937 family photo: (front) Bobbie; (center) Mom with a teenage smirk, Grandmother, Jeannette; (back) Granddaddy, Phyllis, Bill.

1942–college sophomore photo, Western Carolina Teachers College (now Western Carolina University).

1940–Mom (right) high school senior, with friends at Sylva High School.

Sometime in the early ’40s–maybe senior yearbook photo.

Braxton and Pam Coates wedding

November 14, 1944.

1945–war workers in the Secret City (Oak Ridge, TN)–standing in front of their flat top home, one of thousands  brought in by truck and lifted into place by crane, fully finished and furnished.

1946 or 47: Mom with firstborn (me) in front of her parents’ home in the Addie community, about four miles from Sylva, Jackson County, NC.

Fall, 2004: Family reunion, Asheville, NC,three months before Dad died.


Circa 2006–Mom basking in sunlight in front of Olympic fountain, Atlanta, GA.

Circa 2007: Mom (r) with sister Jeannette, Blue Ridge Parkway.

mom 95

October 2018–Mom’s 95th birthday.

1950–Mom flanked by my brother Alan and me. She made all the clothes, probably including Alan’s cap and my pocketbook.

November 2019 (age 96)–Mom checking out a hot-off-the-press copy of my book about her life.

Circa 2010 at home in Fairview, NC. (Thanks to brother Curt for this one. He is the BEST photographer!)

circa 1938.  Mom as a teenager standing by the rock pillars in front of her home in Beta, NC (just outside of Sylva, Jackson County)

Circa 2005. Mom at home.

Circa 1990–in the woods at home, Fairview, NC.

1924, with her siblings, cousins, and grandmother. Mother is the baby, front left, fascinated with something on the ground instead of the person behind the camera.

Circa 1939. Mom at Swannanoa 4-H camp, Swannanoa, NC.

Circa 1943. Dad and Mom courting on the mountainside at her home in Addie, NC (near Sylva, Jackson County).


Circa 2015. Mom and Dad’s youngest brother, Bryan, are reminiscing.

Circa 1954. Mom holding her youngest, Curtis, at home, Florence, SC.

1994. Mother and Dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary when she was 71.

Circa 1944. A big smile for her boyfriend.

Circa 1942. Sisters: Barbara, Jeannette, Phyllis, Pam (my mom)

21 thoughts on “Mom’s Life in Pictures

  1. After my Mom’s death and my Dad’s, I went through all the pictures I could find of their lives. it is true that it is an incomplete story, but it brings their youth and joy and trials and lifestages into vivid view. Thanks for sharing these. I especially enjoyed the pictures of your Mom and Dad together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I never tire of seeing pictures of your dear mother, Carole.

    On Thu, Aug 6, 2020 at 12:33 PM Living on the Diagonal wrote:

    > LivingOnTheDiagonal posted: “Well, that’s not right. Mother’s life was > much more than can be depicted in these few photographs. This is more a > through-the-years photo essay–a snapshot of snapshots, limited by what has > been scanned and is readily available and not in any particular ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We enjoyed these so much, Carole. Your Mom’s face always seemed to reflect her joy in life. I love all the pictures with family (of course), but I think the one of her basking in the sun is my absolute favorite…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jan. The one you mention is very poignant to me. I had taken her with me on a business trip to Atlanta. It was probably the summer after Dad died. Her life had been so radically altered such a short time before but she still found joy in the moment.


  4. Thanks so much for posting this photo essay of your mom’s life I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it (even though I saw the photos in your book about your mom)!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. One of my favorites has always been of your mom and dad on their wedding day, looking at each other. 😍 I don’t remember the one of your mom with you and Alan! You’re a cutie, and Alan was an adorable little cutie pie! I love the one also of your mom laughing (well, to me she looks like she is letting out laughter). It is such a joyous expression. But the one of the four sisters, well, I love the closeness it depicts between the four of them…but Mom’s head has always looked like it’s decapitated from her body and is floating up against Aunt Dot’s head. 🤪 Look at it!

    Thank you for posting all of the photos. Good memories.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha Ha, Debbie! I see how you might see the floating head, but it never would have occurred to me. All the pics of the four sisters together does my soul good. I know how important her sisters were to Mother, and those photos show that love and closeness. And, oh yes, she was definitely laughing–another of my faves. You are very welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

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