AUSTIN: Pamela Christine Brandes Tackett was born in El Campo, Texas on Saturday, August 4, 1945, and died on Friday, March 26, 2021, following a lengthy and courageous fight against Alzheimer's.
Pam was raised in Ganado, Texas and had a wonderful childhood, which she talked about frequently. Pam was the Senior Class President and Salutatorian of her 1963 high school class in Ganado. Pam was the Homecoming Grand Duchess for the GHS Indians her senior year, served on the high school "Chieftain" Annual staff and student council all four years of high school, and participated in the band, the drama club, and the American Legion Girl's State.
Pam attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas before transferring to and graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in the Fall of 1967. Following her graduation and marriage to Steve in September 1967, Pam began her 45-year career in public education in 1968 at the Texas Education Agency (TEA), working as a secretary in the typing pool. Thirty-three (33) years later, Pam retired in 2001 as the Executive Director of the State Board of Education Certification (SBEC), a Texas State Agency created in 1995 to assume former duties of TEA to regulate the certification and standards of conduct for all public school teachers and educators in Texas. During her years at TEA and SBEC, Pam actively participated in the development and administration of all statewide assessment tests or exams for public school students and public educators.
Following her retirement from SBEC, Pam continued her career in public education until 2014 by working as a consultant and one of a dozen or so "Early College High School Coaches" assisting public high schools in Texas to set up and administer so-called Early College High Schools designed to allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to receive both a high school diploma and either an associate degree or at least 60 credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree.
Pam first met her husband, Steve, in 1961 at a birthday party in her backyard in Gandao, celebrating her Sweet Sixteen Birthday. Steve had recently moved to Ganado and was graciously invited to his new classmates' birthday party. Steve clearly recalls that when they first met, Pam introduced herself and asked him to marry her. Pam, on the other hand, had a different recollection and always called Steve "Mr. Lucky" because she chose to love him. Although Pam and Steve were good friends in high school and thereafter, they did not begin dating until their senior year at the University of Texas. But fate has a way of bringing people back together who are meant to be with one another. Pam and Steve were married in Ganado in September 1967 and had a wonderful marriage of almost 54 years. Following their marriage, Pam worked tirelessly to help support her family, help put Steve through law school, birth and raise two children, build her own amazing career, and become the most loving, thoughtful, and caring person and friend one could ever hope to meet.
Pam is survived by her husband, Steve; daughter Cara C. Tackett; her son, Ross J. Tackett; her beloved daughter-in-law, Melissa; her three amazing grandchildren, William Tackett, Austin Tackett, and Elizabeth "Ellie" Tackett; her brother, Woodrow "Woody" W. Brandes, Jr., and many wonderful and beloved cousins. Pam is preceded in death by her parents, Woodrow W. Brandes, Sr. and Christine C. Brandes, her grandparents, and all of her many treasured aunts and uncles.
Pam was a life-long United Methodist, and Pam and Steve were active members of The Downtowners Sunday School Class and First United Methodist Church of Austin, for the last 38 years, participating in and supporting its many ministries, including Mobile Loaves and Fishes, English As a Second Language program, Appalachia Service Project, Hands on Mission, Feed My People, the Reconciling Ministries Network, and the Four Corners Native American Ministries.
A simple graveside service for family and friends is planned for Saturday, April 24, 2021, at 11:30 am at the Ganado Protestant Cemetery, County Road 252, Ganado, Texas. A reception immediately following the service will be held in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church of Ganado, 200 Twin Oaks Blvd, Ganado. A memorial service and joyful celebration of Pam's life will be held at First United Methodist Church of Austin at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Endowment Fund at First United Methodist Church of Austin, 1201 Lavaca Street, Austin, Texas 78701, to the Alzheimer's Association, or to a charity of your choice.
Services have been entrusted to Russell Todish of Ganado Funeral Home, 800 S. Third St. Ganado, TX 77962, 361-771-2120.
Pam's Credo for Life:
Believe in Your Heart and Head
Believe in your heart and head that you were meant to
live a life filled with both magic and grace. Not the
magic of side shows or carnivals nor the false or
phony grace of charlatans, but the magic and grace
that transforms lives. Rejoice in knowing that God our
creator has purposely made you "different" so that
you know with absolute certainty that by the power of
our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, you were
also made to "make a difference"!
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