The woman killed when a man opened fire at a Jewish center converted to Judaism when she was married, then became more active in the Jewish community than her husband.
Pamela Waechter, 58, rose from secretary to become president of Temple B'nai Torah in Bellevue from 1988 through 1990.
Bill Waechter, who remained friends with her after their divorce, recalled loud, shouting meetings of the temple's board that took place in their home, while he was in the other room watching television.
"I'd hear her give her opinion, and everybody would shut up and listen," Waechter told a local paper. "It was amazing how she would command the attention of all these old guys."
Police say Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, forced his way into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle Friday afternoon and began shooting, killing Waechter and wounding five other women. He was ordered held on $50 million bail Saturday pending formal charges of murder and attempted murder.
A Muslim from the Tri-Cities area of south-central Washington, Haq, 30, told authorities he was angered by the war in Iraq and U.S. military cooperation with Israel.
Rabbi Jim Mirel of Temple B'nai Torah, said Waechter's death is a loss to the Jewish community, not just his synagogue.
"I think of her as an inspiration," Mirel said. "I know there will not be a day for the rest of my life I will not think of her."
Pam Waechter grew up in Minneapolis as a Lutheran, the daughter of a businessman. She and her husband moved to Seattle in 1979. After raising their two children, Pam Waechter graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in nutrition.
Before joining the staff at the federation, where most recently she was director of the annual fund-raising campaign, Pamela Waechter worked for four years at Jewish Family Service, where she managed a food bank and served as an emergency services caseworker and volunteer coordinator, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle's Web site.
In her eight years at the federation, Waechter's jobs included outreach coordinator, director of special events, and various fundraising posts, the Web site said.
In both her paid and volunteer work, she was known as a mediator, always bringing a calm, balanced approach to problems.
"I wouldn't be surprised if Pam stepped in to protect other people," said Marshall Brumer, a past president of Temple B'nai Torah in Bellevue. "That's the kind of person she was."
— The Associated Press