Dr. Pamela Burns-Balogh thumbnail

Pamela Burns-Balogh

January 14, 1949 -
August 6, 2021

Dr. Pamela Burns-Balogh, 72, of Champaign died Friday (Aug. 6, 2021) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

Pam was born January 14, 1949, in Austin, TX. She met her husband, Michael J. Balogh, while studying at Kent State. After graduation, they got married in Edison, NJ, on August 28, 1971.

She was preceded in d…read more

Dr. Pamela Burns-Balogh, 72, of Champaign died Friday (Aug. 6, 2021) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

Pam was born January 14, 1949, in Austin, TX. She met her husband, Michael J. Balogh, while studying at Kent State. After graduation, they got married in Edison, NJ, on August 28, 1971.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Robert R. and Gladys Burns. She is survived by her husband, Michael (Mike), of 50 years of marriage, her son, Scott, two sisters and a brother, Roberta, Debbie, and Gary, a niece Jessica (Burns), and three nephews, Robert (Burns), Nathan and Mathew (Hoffman).

Pam followed her husband, Mike, who was in the United States Air Force, to various stations of duty. Her botanical career started at Barksdale AFB, Shreveport, LA, where she was appointed the Base Botanist and wrote a book about vegetation of the base. After moving to Maryland, Pam graduated with a PhD in Botany from the University of Maryland. She specialized in the study of terrestrial orchids. In the time she collected and identified orchids, she assembled one of the largest collections of orchid pollinaria in her field. Pam took two trips to Mexico to study and collect orchids. Most of her research was done at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. She also studied and did research at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, Panama. Pam would go on to collect and identify orchids in Europe when Mike was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany. After visiting many countries in Europe, her career in orchids came to an end when Mike was stationed at Chanute AFB, Rantoul, IL. She then opened a mail order family book business selling scientific books, this legacy continues through the efforts of her son and has been active over 30 years.

In addition to her extensive research, Pam taught college courses at Centenary College of Louisiana at Shreveport, LA, University of Montana at Missoula, MT and Montgomery Community College in Germantown, MD. Over the years, she wrote several books and numerous scientific articles in refereed journals. In addition to her publications on orchids, she wrote a book on the history of binnacles.

Affectionately called “Buffalo Pam,” she was a trailblazer and adventurer. Pam loved to travel, and especially enjoyed RVing in recent years. Intelligent, supportive, and generous are all words that could be used to describe Pam, but most importantly she was loving and kind. Author, business owner, self-taught computer expert, polyglot and avid traveler, she was always thinking of the Next Big Thing to accomplish in her life. Dedicated wife and mother, esteemed aunt, she held a deep appreciation for nautical history, soft, cozy blankets and Cooper’s Pit BBQ (Llano, TX).  Her son will greatly miss sharing many spirited conversations, family adventures and common interests. Those she left behind feel a truly immeasurable loss but we will honor her memory through the love we carry for her and one another.

Per her wishes, Pam was cremated and put into an urn to be cared for by her son, Scott, until her husband, Mike, joins her at a later date. A private celebration of life will be held in Champaign on Friday, Sept 3, 2021. Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy, is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Champaign County Humane Society.

Condolences may be offered at morganmemorialhome.com.

 

 

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