Our beloved mother, Jerry (Rossiter) Lamb, died September 20, in Holland Hospital, after a short but fierce battle with pneumonia. She was surrounded by her four children. Jerry was born November 23, 1933 in Hesperia to John and Genevra Rossiter. She graduated from Hackley School of Nursing with her registered nurse degree in 1954, the same year she married Leonard Lamb Jr. of Rogers City.
While Jerry loved nursing, which she did for more than 25 years, working in both intensive and cardiac care at Hackley Hospital, she will be remembered best for her tireless volunteerism and advocacy work on behalf of families affected by alcohol and drug addiction. In an area of Ottawa County with little support or awareness that alcoholism was a disease, her firsthand experience with its effects on family life led her to initiate and/or participate in numerous programs begun in the area that still serve the community today.
She established family group meetings at the First Presbyterian Church and worked with juvenile court to develop the first generation of first-offender substance-abuse programs for adolescents. The Tri-Cities Alcoholics Anonymous Family Assistance Emergency Phone was located in her home for more than 30 years and during that time she and her husband Leonard were available 24/7 for consultation and referral. She was the director of OAR, Inc., then a fledgling organization, focused on recovery as well as developing the first Employee Assistance Program in the Grand Haven School System.
Her grandchildren remember a woman who was fierce in her commitment to effecting lasting change as it related to gaps in gender equality, a woman’s right to choose and the rights of the LGBTQIA community. She was a living reminder to focus on the least of the least and lived her faith in her volunteerism for others.
Jerry will also be remembered for her love of the great estate sale. Her favorite thing from her earliest days was to hunt up the perfect antique shop, or to find the best garage sale. In the mid-1970s, what began as a lark with her best friend, Shirley Schroeder, they turned their love of antiques into a business, establishing Schroeder-Lamb Estate Sales. Many local residents can remember hours of estate sale fun at one of their sales characterized by the rainbow sign at the end of long driveways. This ended with age and retirement happened. A wonderful time was had by all!
Jerry loved God; the music of her church and its “I am windows,” Grand Haven, dogs, books, jazz, poetry, best friends, drama queens, estate sales, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and neighbors.
Jerry leaves behind her four children and their wonderful spouses, Deborah (Gerald) Babcock, Leonard (Tracy Parker), Jennifer (Greg) Tayler and Susan (Gary) Tonnemacher; her special friend Duane Leet; her grandchildren, Zachary and Emma Babcock, Devin and Tylor Lamb, Kathryn Taylor-Hartsell and Logan Hartsell and Rachel Taylor, and Nathaniel Tonnemacher; and one brilliant, smiling, great-grandson, Jay. She is also survived by her brother Dan (Kay) Rossiter; her sister Marianna (David) Morales; her in-laws, Doris Bernlohr, Alger (Janet) Lamb and Faye Lamb; and absolutely wonderful nieces andnephews.
Jerry was pre-deceased by her husband Leonard, her son John and three sisters and brothers-in-law.
The family will hold a memorial for their mother at post-novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in the summer of 2021.
Condolences can be sent c/o Deborah Babcock, 1671 Mt. Vernon Ave, East Lansing, MI, 48823. While not necessary, donations may be given to OAR, Inc., 483 Century Ln, Holland, MI, 49423.