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“You are in my prayers as I've heard many great and wonderful things about our cousin Pamela. Alzheimer's is such a horrific disease and I'm sure one...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Vicki Smith - Kingsport, TN

“Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time. ”
2 of 2 | Posted by: From the Staff of Chiles Funeral Home - VA

Pamela Sharon Wood was born on March 29, 1944 to Clinton Barford Wood and Pearl Henderson Wood in San Francisco. Less than a year later they relocated to Richmond, VA, and Clinton and Pearl resided there until their deaths. Pamela attended Maggie L. Walker High School in Richmond, VA and graduated with honors in 1961. She matriculated to Howard University in Washington, DC and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a major in Music in 1965. She married Eric Scott Fraley in Washington, DC in late 1965, and moved to the Boston Metropolitan area. In 1971 and 1975 her beautiful daughters, Ayanna Fraley Moore and Amara Fraley (respectively) were born who were the lights of Pamela’s life. During this time, Pamela also taught at the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in Roxbury, MA until divorcing Eric Fraley in 1978. She then began her graduate studies at the University of Lowell (now known as the University of Massachusetts at Lowell) and was married to Rev. Stephen Ambush for 12 years until 1993. Once she completed her Master’s degree in Music, she continued an illustrious career as a Music Educator throughout the New England area and “participated in a musical revolution that opened everyone’s eyes” as noted by an MIT colleague, teaching at such schools as Tufts University, Wheelock College and others before finding a home at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA in 1986 in the Music and Theater Arts Department. She quickly became one of the most beloved Lecturers, eventually Senior Lecturer, in music, and was the Chief Administrator and Teacher of musicianship skills in the section. Primarily a vocalist, with a wide range of experience as a recitalist and operatic singer, Pam grounded her teaching in song, tempered by her expertise and experience in the Kodaly method of ear training. An aficionado of both popular styles and contemporary concert singing, Pam sang with the Steve Reich Ensemble for several years during the early to mid 1970’s. Pam also earned Advanced Certificates at the Kodaly Musical Training Institute and Kodaly Center of America. She has appeared as soprano soloist with the New York, San Francisco, London, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, and has concertized throughout Europe including singing for the Queen of England, Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean. She has been recorded on the Angel, ECM, Nonesuch, and Revels labels. Pam has been acclaimed for her performances of monodramatic operas including Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night and Van de Vate’s A Night in the Royal Ontario Museum; recognized by MIT as a Black Achiever and by the Marquis Who’s Who Publications Board as 2006-2007 Who’s Who of American Women; and hailed for her solo performance at Tech Night at POPS. In demand as a workshop clinician in the areas of voice, solfege, and folk song research, Pam gained recognition among music educators and classroom teachers nationwide. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Kodaly Center of America and Arts|Learning, and on the faculty of the Kodaly Music Institute (KMI) at the New England Conservatory and the Board of Overseers of the New England Conservatory of Music. She was also on the Faculty of the Kodaly Music Institute at the New England Conservatory; a Conductor of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Community Chorus; and served as Minister of Music at the Christ Temple of Godly Wisdom for over 25 years. In 2014, Pamela’s colleagues, friends and former students in Music and Theater Arts and throughout MIT lovingly honored her retirement from and contributions to a 28-year career at MIT with musical performances, the medium that she loves best and to which she contributed the most entitled “Pam Wood: A Musical Celebration”. She leaves to cherish her memory: her aforementioned daughters, Ayanna Fraley Moore (Howard University) and Amara Fraley, MBA (Walden University) of Odenton, MD; a soon-to-be son-in-law, Daron Vaughn of Odenton, MD; a surrogate daughter, Mary Grooms of Manchester, NH; a grandson, Derek Moore, Jr., student at Old Dominion University; a surrogate granddaughter, Allana James student at Howard University; a surrogate niece, June Gabrielle Foggie Nichols and her husband Mark of Southborough, MA; a former son-in-law, Derek Moore, Sr.; first cousins Laverne W. Miner of Bridgewater, NJ, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A Wright, Jr. of Chicago, IL, Tommyzee H. Suggs of Silver Spring, MD, Joyce Badens of Riva, MD, Michael Jones of Alexandria, VA, Brenda Leeper of Southern, MD, Barbara Adkins Ridley of Northern VA. She also remained particularly close and connected to her former sisters-in-law, aunts- and uncles-in law, nieces- and nephews-in law, and cousins-in-law and others in the Fraley and Ambush families who always saw Pam as their family. A host of other loving and devoted cousins, extended family, church family, colleagues and friends throughout the world most notably Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC also celebrate the life and memory of Pamela Sharon Wood. She transitioned peacefully with her family around her on March 7, 2018. Pam, the person anyone would describe as “the closest likeness to God on His earth”.

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