In Loving

Shirley Moore Lamm

October 7, 1931 – November 7, 2023

Shirley Moore Lamm, 92, of Richmond, VA went to be with the Lord on November 7, 2023 in Henrico, VA. She was born on October 7, 1931 in Emporia, VA.

Shirley grew up in Emporia and was a graduate of Greenville County High School, class of 1950. After high school, Shirley attended Johnston Willis Nursing School in Richmond VA. In 1952, upon graduating from nursing school she married and moved to Maryland to join her husband, Douglas “Doug” Lamm stationed at Andrews Air Force Base. While living there, she worked as a nurse at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington D.C. In 1954, she and her husband welcomed their daughter, Virginia, and shortly thereafter moved to Portsmouth, VA. In 1958, they welcomed another daughter, Candice, and at that time Shirley became a stay-at- home mother. In 1964, Shirley went back to work as a nurse at Norfolk General Hospital (now known as Sentara Hospital) in Norfolk VA. She loved having a career, and while working, went on to earn her Master of Science degree from Old Dominion University in 1981. Five years later, in 1986, she became the Director of the Norfolk General Nursing School. During this time, her husband left his job as a pharmaceutical rep. and they became owners of “Tire City” on Little Creek Rd. in Norfolk VA. They loved their time in the Tidewater area. Doug loved owning, tinkering on, and remodeling his boats. They enjoyed living by and being on the water with their family. After selling the tire business they retired for a while, but soon after decided to head out for a new adventure. They bought and ran a little motel in Bedford VA called Wheeler Motor Inn, a small motel, overlooking the Peaks of Otter in the Blue Ridge mountains. Their final destination was Richmond, VA (the Goochland/Short Pump area) to spend time with their two daughters and two grandchildren.

In her early years, Shirley grew up in a loving home with her parents, James and Ruth Moore, and her three lovely sisters, Helen Jean, Peggy Joyce, and Martha Ruth. She grew up during the second world war and at her passing she still possessed one of her family’s WWII ration books. During the war, she would often see soldiers and trucks going down Route 58 in front of her home while sitting on the front porch with her family. Her parents helped provide for the family by raising chickens and growing a large garden behind their house. In the wintertime, the pantry and freezer were stocked with canned and frozen vegetables, fruits, preserves (especially aig preserves that were popular enough to sell), and homemade pickles. One of Shirley’s favorite pets was a blind chicken she raised and named Little Bitty. She also had a pet crow. She loved living next door to her aunt, Mary Moore, and had many fun summers going to Ocean View with her and her siblings. She also had fun visiting her aunt Hazel who lived on a farm, her grandmothers, as well as many other aunts, uncles, and cousins who lived nearby.

Shirley’s father worked as a skilled blade sharpener, among other things, at Greenville County Manufacturing Company. It was across from their home on Route 58 in Emporia. Twice a day when the mill whistle blew at lunch and closing time, you would see “Jimmy” walking home across Highway 58 in his dusty denim overalls to be with his girls. After gardening, chores, and dinner, he enjoyed being with his family. Shirley especially had fun playing croquet with her father and sisters. Jimmy also enjoyed eating Ruth’s pies, driving his car, and listening to music, especially the Grand Ole’ Opry music. As a young man he was a caller at square dances. Shirley always remembered him fondly and described him as a very kind, sweet, and gentle man.

Shirley’s mother Ruth was a hard worker who always stayed busy. She liked working in her garden and growing flowers and plants from cuttings. She was an excellent cook, baker, seamstress, and homemaker. Shirley and family members for generations had great times gathered around the dinner table, especially during holidays. Ruth was a great cook and they enjoyed favorites such as chicken and dumplings, muddle (aka Brunswick stew), roasts, fried chicken, fresh cooked vegetables, biscuits, wonderful homemade pies, cakes, apple dumplings, and sweet tea. She made wonderful Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Her grandchildren still talk about her cooking to this day. In the summertime, Shirley spent many days on the front porch with her mother, sisters, and later grandchildren, learning to crochet, snap beans, and shell butterbeans. Shirley and her sisters also liked skipping down the sidewalk on summer mornings to visit their grandmother Moore to help shell her butterbeans. Shirley’s mother sewed meticulously, making beautiful clothes and gowns for Shirley and her sisters to wear to school and high school dances. She taught all her daughters to sew and everyone admired her sewing skills. After the girls grew up, she worked part-time at Bloom Brothers in Emporia as a seamstress/tailor. She also smocked, embroidered, and made dresses for her two granddaughters, Shirley’s daughters, “Ginger” and “Candy” to wear to school.

Shirley and her sisters walked to school every day. She loved going to school with her sisters and had a great time in Richmond studying and being with her fellow nursing students while attending Johnston Willis Nursing School. One of her friends, in her high school graduating class, Ann Lamm, became her sister-in-law when she married her older brother Douglas. Saved to this day are many love letters written by Shirley and Douglas, mostly Douglas, that traveled back and forth from Emporia, Johnston Willis, and Andrews Air Force Base. They almost didn’t marry. As the story goes, she got mad at him and threw the first engagement ring he gave her into her family’s garden, never to be found again. He persisted though, he bought her another ring, and they eventually got married at the preacher’s house in Emporia. They left that day to start a life together, taking off in their funny, decorated and painted up car. They spent their honeymoon on a beautiful skyline drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

During her life, Shirley enjoyed reading books, magazines, and newspapers. She loved dancing and fancy clothes. She loved dressing up to attend dances and social events, big bands like Guy Lombardo with Doug in his early years, and after his passing in her later years. She had a soft spot for animals, especially ones needing homes and medical care.

She was a fierce advocate for education, especially for women. She made sure her two daughters never had second thoughts about attending college or getting another bad grade. She was a women’s “liber’ before most people had ever heard of such a thing. Shirley also had an artsy side. She was talented at making things. She often impressed the other mothers with her daughters’ birthday party decorations and her creativity at school events. She loved Flowers and became a member of the Daffodil Society when she moved to Richmond, winning awards for her beautiful daffodils. Shirley was driven to do everything she enjoyed to the best of her ability.

Shirley found great joy in spending time with her family, especially during holidays, which she always looked forward to. She enjoyed being social and being with friends. She especially enjoyed her longtime friend Shelly, her former assistant at Norfolk General Hospital, who later became the next Nursing School Director. Shirley could be very charming, but was a straight shooter. Beneath her sometimes tough veneer, she deeply cared for those she loved. Whenever a family member became ill, she was always the one they reached out to for support and medical advice, but mostly for peace of mind.

Her presence will be missed by those who loved her.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, James Bryant Moore and Virginia Ruth Stainback Moore; her husband, Coy Douglas Lamm Jr.; her sister Martha Moore Allen of Emporia VA; her sister-in-laws Ann Lamm Barnes of Emporia VA, and Loretta Lamm Diaz, of Hanover VA; her brothers-in- law, Ted Blankenship, Eugene Allen, and Edward Rose.

Shirley is survived by her sisters, Helen Moore Rose of Richmond, VA, Peggy Moore Blankenship of Emporia, VA; her daughters, Virginia Lamm Hawthorne of Richmond, VA, and Candice Lamm Harrison (William) of Suffolk, VA; her grandchildren, Hillary Lauren Hawthorne of Richmond, VA, and Dean Alexander Hawthorne of Richmond, VA; her former son-in law Dean Stapleton Hawthorne of Richmond VA; her brother-in-law, Temi Diaz of Hanover VA; and nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great- nephews.

A family service is planned for her this spring in Emporia Virginia.

In honor of her, please consider a donation to your favorite animal shelter.