Pamela Balow

Obituary of Pamela Kay Balow

Pamela Kay Balow, (McLean, VA, resident of Champion, PA). Pamela Kay Balow, who was a trailblazer for women seeking to attain senior leadership roles at the Central Intelligence Agency, died peacefully at the Arleigh Burke Nursing Facility early Sunday morning March 15, 2020 at the age of 78. Throughout her six-year battle with mesothelioma Pam demonstrated the courage, faith in God and good humor that her family, friends and colleagues knew so well. Pam was born on June 8, 1941 to Frank Wills Balow and Katherine Theresa Benzinger Balow and grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. She graduated from Rosary College in 1963 and served in Bangkok, Thailand with the State Department until 1965. She later joined the Central Intelligence Agency and returned to Bangkok where she became fluent in the Thai language and was the embassy's most experienced political officer. Pamela's career at the CIA advanced with increasing responsibility through tours of duty in Rome, Singapore, Chicago and Canberra, Australia where she was CIA’s Chief of Station. Pam was Chief of the National Resettlement Operations Center (NROC) when she retired in 1997 after 30 years of service. On December 31, 1975 Pam married B. Hugh Tovar. They enjoyed a long and happy marriage sharing their love of family and many interests such as travel and playing golf and tennis. Pam was an excellent card-player and in retirement she also became an avid gardener and accomplished potter. After Pam's retirement, she and Hugh moved to Champion, PA where they were active members of the Catholic Church of St. Raymond of the Mountains and of the Pike Run Club, where Pam served on the Board. Hugh predeceased Pam in June of 2015. Pam is survived by her brothers, Frank Archibald Balow, now deceased (Elaine Cue) and Eric Martin Balow, and sisters, Sherry Lenore Balow Kelley, Holly Gertrude Robedeau (Daniel), and Kyle Anne Balow (partner Emil R. Espinosa). Her loving nieces and nephews include: Jenne Kelley Parker, Stephanie Balow, Katie Balow Fiddelke (deceased), Tony Balow, LJ Kelley, David Kelley and Matthew Kelley. On the Tovar side of the family, Pam is survived by her six stepchildren and their spouses: Gregory (Suzanne Weisband), Andrea (Albert ten Cate), Peter (Kathleen Moore), Michael (Sara Bender), Christopher and James. Her loving step-grandchildren include Alan and Chris Poey; Stephen, Alex and Laura Tovar; Becket Tovar; and Bernardo (Billy) Tovar. Pam was also a proud step-great-grandmother to Alan and Alyssa's children William and Rhea Poey. Pam's interment alongside her beloved husband, Hugh in the St. Raymond's Cemetery will take place on Saturday, October 9 following her Funeral Mass at 10:00 at the Church of St. Raymond of the Mountains 170 School House Lane Donegal, PA. Gifts of remembrance can be made to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation,1615 L Street NW, Suite 430, Washington, DC 20036;; (877) 363-6376). Arrangements have been entrusted to the Galone-Caruso Funeral Home, Mount Pleasant, PA. To offer an online condolence, please visit our web site at:

Memorial Service

10:00 am
Saturday, October 9, 2021
St. Raymond Of The Mountain
170 School House Lane
Donegal, Pennsylvania, United States
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