Pamela Clauss (17 August 1925 – 5 August 2001) was an Australian pioneering nurse, philanthropist and supporter of historical preservation and the arts.
Born as Pamela Heavey in Longueville, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney, to Alison Maud (née Bennett) and John Aloysius Heavey, a New Zealand Navy veteran who had been decorated during World War I for bravery in the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in 1915.
She graduated from Sacred Heart College[disambiguation needed] in Kensington, Sydney and went on to attend nursing training at St. Vincent's Hospital, also in Sydney, in 1942. In 1956 following activities in Europe and England she returned to Australia and became a nursing sister in charge of St. Vincent's newly established cardio-thoracic surgical unit.
Three years later she went to the Mayo Clinic as part of an exchange-training program, and in 1965 she joined the open-heart surgery team of Dr. Roy H. Clauss (who would become her husband in 1970) and Dr. George Reed in NYC. She went on to pioneer cardiac bypass surgery techniques at the Mayo Clinic, at New York University and at the New York Medical College.
She married Dr. Clauss, a widower, in 1970, and remained in Manhattan for the rest of her career and married life until her death. They had no children, but she became stepmother to his three children.
She was dedicated to the following:
- Inner City Scholarship Fund for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
- Yorkville Common Pantry (Manhattan)
- Community Board #8 (Manhattan)
- The 74th Street Association (Manhattan)
- Metropolitan Opera and Philharmonic (NYC)
She was a devout Roman Catholic, although her husband was a Presbyterian deacon and elder. She died from cancer in 2001, 12 days before her 76th birthday. Her funeral Mass was held at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, where funeral services for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Aaliyah, among many others, were also held.
Pamela Clauss is survived by a large extended family including her husband Dr. Roy H. Claus(died 2007), stepchildren Roy, Elliot and Jane, and step-grandchildren, including a namesake.
She is also survived by family in Australia including a sister, nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and nieces etc. including Tobias, Samuel and David Rosenthal and to Vanessa, Carl and Brooke Lazarus and sisters. One sister, Philippa Lazarus, is the wife of Leslie Lazarus, of Sydney, who is an Officer of the Order of Australia.