Jean Lamb ‘s creativity and love of words found expression in her life in both traditional and unexpected ways.
Jean met her husband, Bob, at Iowa State College. When they married, Bob began a career with the 3M Company and the family moved to Dayton. Jean was active with the PTA and supervised the church library. Her home economics degree came in handy, as she made drapes and slipcovers for the house and dresses for her girls. One daughter said she “grew up in Donna Reed’s house” and recalled that people referred to her Mother as Saint Jean. Now she says, “As I’ve gotten older, I’m not so sure they were wrong about that.”
Jean wrote poetry for her children when they were young, encouraging them to love words and creativity. As her children grew older, Jean’s creativity found new expression. She created a stuffed lamb with a pocket in its back and put a note into the pocket to send to one of her daughters who was homesick during her freshman year in college. Soon Jean was selling the stuffed animals as comfort gifts to funeral homes and gift shops. She developed a line of greeting cards and sold them to clients nationally. As her business grew, Bob served as a “marketer.”
After many years of success, Jean and Bob retired and stayed busy with activities. In 2016, after 67 ½ years together, Jean died from a dementia related illness while under the care of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.
Now her husband is extending her legacy. He has published a collection of her writings into a book and is donating proceeds from book sales to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. The books are available at Heirlooms Shoppes benefitting Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and at the Heartfelt Gifts Shoppe at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.
Here’s a sample poem from Jean’s A Kiss on the Magic Spot:
Deep Within My Heart I Heard
‘Twas in the midst of noonday clatter,
Surrounded by the children’s chatter I had spoken not a word,
When, deep within my heart, I heard:
“Your mission – lead your family
To true, unending love for Me.”
How could this be?
Could this be all He’d ask of me?
No great crusades to lead?
No unfed hordes to feed?
In protest, I began to speak,
“They go to Sunday School each week.
Of course they love you, Lord, most dearly.”
And then I heard His words more clearly.
“Unending,” he had said, and “True.”
That meant in everything they do.
And then…The task that seemed so small,
Seemed, suddenly, not small at all.
I’ll do my best, but, Lord, I pray,
That You will help me find the way.