Pamela J. Foss died on Nov. 3, 2022 in her husband’s arms at their home in Boston after a long fight with ovarian cancer. She was 64.
A photograph of Pamela and her mother, Peg Foss, taken in the summer of 1959 outside the summer home of her grandparents, Paul and Bertha Foss, shows her looking toward Provincetown’s East End tidal flats, a place she returned to nearly every year for the rest of her life. That home, built on land bought by her great-grandfather, Eliphalet J. Foss, in the 1890s, was restored and updated by Pamela and her husband, Howard Weisman, in 2007. It was where her heart resided.
Pamela was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. on Sept. 27, 1958 to the late Edith Margaret Berry and Ernest Dean Foss. The family moved in 1963 to Rhinebeck, N.Y. where Pamela and Howard lived for the past 20 years. She graduated from Rhinebeck Central High School in 1976.
Pamela enrolled in 1979 at Boston University, where she and Howard met on the first day of classes. The following summer she managed the Whitman House Gift Shop in Truro and lived in a cottage on Standish Street in Provincetown with her sister Wendy.
Pamela moved to New Jersey and attended N.Y.U., where she earned a degree in marketing in 1981. She then worked for Xerox for more than 10 years, ultimately leaving to raise her children while supporting Howard’s career and pursuing her interests in interior design.
Pamela and Howard married on May 27, 1984 in Rhinebeck. They bought their first home in Highland Park, N.J., and it became obvious that her true calling was in art and interior design.
With each subsequent move, she expressed a design vision that reflected her sense of color, space, lighting, and function no matter what the starting point. She was a prolific art collector, cherishing the canvases in every room of her homes by Provincetown painters.
The family settled in Mendham, N.J., spending every summer in Provincetown. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Pamela’s house was a beehive of activity. Dining at the Red Inn, dancing at Waydowntown, belting out songs at drag karaoke, and occasionally drinking a half pint at the Governor Bradford before strolling home in the night brought her much joy.
She spent much of her time on the tidal flats, which she called “Uncle Paul’s Beach.” Over the years, most of the 137 acres that her great-grandfather purchased were preserved, either as National Seashore or through the creation of the 15-acre Foss Woods. Pamela became a trustee of the Provincetown Conservation Trust.
Pamela’s family nickname was “Salty,” which described both her deep connection to the beach and her outspokenness on feminism, conservation, and, more broadly, the pursuit of happiness. In Provincetown, she lived her beliefs most fully.
Pamela’s highest priority was family, and she instilled in her children strong opinions about life, love, and believing in themselves. When they got older, she told them that if their visiting romantic interests fell in love with the beauty and spirit of Provincetown they could come back anytime. If not, she said, “Cut your losses and move on.”
Pamela realized her wish to walk with her son down the aisle on his wedding day on the Pilgrim Monument lawn on a perfect September day.
She is survived by her husband, Howard Weisman, of Boston; her daughter, Hannah, of Somerville; her son, Joshua, and wife Jenna Wells of Albany, Calif.; her sisters, Carol Foss White of Trumbull, Conn. and Wendy Foss Jeffreys of Rhinebeck, N.Y.; and her brothers, Robert Foss of Valencia, Pa., Richard Foss of Lake Forest, Ill., and Christopher Foss of Sharon, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Helping Our Women, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and the Provincetown Conservation Trust.