Barbara T. Lamb, obituary

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 6:30pm

CAMDEN — Barbara Thomson Lamb, age 96, passed away on April 1, 2020, surrounded by family as the morning sun beamed into her bedroom in Camden, Maine.  

Barbara was born on May 20, 1923, the daughter of Earl J. Thomson, an Olympic gold medalist and US Naval Academy track coach, and Anne C. Thomson, a public school teacher. She grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, across the street from her future husband for 67 years, Harold Moore Lamb. Barbara met Harold in Sunday school at age four, and were childhood friends.

They were married in 1949, and had six children between 1954 and 1963. 

During WWII, Barbara trained as a welder as part of the war effort but graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in nursing.  Her first job as a registered nurse was family care in underserved inner-city Washington D.C. and Baltimore. Harold’s naval career gave her the opportunity to practice nursing in a variety of settings. She was a school nurse and founded a visiting nurse service in Columbia, Missouri in the 1970s. She also taught nursing at age 69 in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, when she and Harold served in the Peace Corps. 

Barbara was a healer and particularly skilled in field medicine, as her accident-prone children would attest. If stitches were needed, while on a boat off a remote island in the Bahamas, Barbara took charge. Barbara and Harold sought adventure throughout their lives, traveling frequently with family and friends on sailboats, barges, and cruise ships around the world. Lifelong sailors, in 1977 they moved their three youngest children aboard the 40’ sailboat Taneek and cruised the Eastern Seaboard and the Bahamas. Following this 15-month voyage, they settled ashore in Camden. 

Active in her community, Barbara participated in and helped lead many organizations, including the Rockport Boat Club, Camden Monday Club, Camden Garden Club, Coastal Family Hospice Volunteers, and Habitat for Humanity. Barbara was guided by her deep faith throughout her life and was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Camden. Perhaps her greatest gift was her ability to grow and maintain friendships, host gatherings, and be there for people in need. 

Barbara possessed the greenest of thumbs and was admired for her gardening skills. Her plants flourished outside and inside her beautiful passive solar home, which she and Harold began building in 1978. They were soon joined in Maine by her twin and life-long close friend, Mary Libbey, and Mary’s husband, Blaine.

Barbara Lamb knew how to live. Her generous spirit was exceeded only by her joy for life with those around her and the desire to live each day fully. Above all else, Barbara treasured being a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.  

Barbara was predeceased by her husband, Harold Lamb (2016); son William Lamb (2014); and daughter-in-law Cate Lamb (2015).

She is survived by her twin sister, Mary Libbey of Camden; brother, Earl Thomson of Vista, California; sister, Carol Meyer of Aurora, Colorado; two daughters, Mary Nehring (Dan) of Lexington, Kentucky and Jennifer Bolster (Mark) of Towson, Maryland; and three sons, Hal Lamb (Lisa) of Coronado, California, Brian of Camden, and Dan (Darby) of Ithaca, New York; nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church in Camden, once the threat of COVID-19 recedes and it is safe for gatherings to occur.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: The Shields Mission Project, 55 Elm Street, Camden, Maine 04843.