In the early 1900s, it was a male-dominated society, even in a backwoods town called Easton.
If you were a woman in the year 1948, going to college was very unlikely. Going to college at the age of 16 and being a woman was considered truly amazing. Some people would call it crazy. What if after a woman went to college, she raised six children almost all on her own and she ran a farm? Some people would call that insane. However, some people did not know Shirley Marilyn Pearson Lamb .
Even at the age of four, little Shirley knew what she wanted, and that was to go to school with her big sister Norma. She followed her every day, so finally the teachers allowed her to start kindergarten. Since Shirley started school so early, she was always the youngest in her class. As the years went on, Shirley became friends with many people. Her classmates seemed to flock to her because of her bubbly attitude, and she was very pretty. Shirley didn't even need makeup to make her pretty like a lot of people today do. One of her nicknames that followed her to high school was Blondie, die to her thick, strawberry-blonde hair. She also had blue eyes that matched perfectly.
At the age of sixteen, Shirley graduated from Greenwich High School on the high honor roll. Shirley decided that she didn't want to stop her education there, so she went on to Albany Business College. At 20 years old, Shirley got married to Edward Lamb . She had six children with him, and their names were Edward, Harold, Randy, Terry, Judy and Lisa.
When their last child, Lisa, was eight years old, Shirley 's beloved husband passed away due to a severe case of pneumonia. Everyone was devastated, including Shirley , but she stayed strong for her children. There was another struggle to take on, though: she had to take on all of the jobs at their 300-acre dairy farm.
With help from the children, Shirley cooked, cleaned, milked cows, lifted hay bales and did everything she had to do to keep the farm and her family up and running. She got the younger ones ready for school and got them fed every morning, afternoon and night. Despite Shirley 's tiredness, she knew she was doing all the right things for her children. However, when her children acted up, she never let it slide. Shirley was small but mighty. Shirley did all of this without much help. Later in life, she became an aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-aunt.
In her later years, Shirley developed COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), which made it hard for her to breathe. The COPD was another struggle. Shirley didn't give up, though. She fought and fought for 16 years. The doctors didn't think she would make it 10 or even five years.
Shirley Marilyn Pearson Lamb died on Jan. 11, 2012. When she was in the ICU for five days, the doctors were shocked at how big her family was.
Shirley was my grandmother and a truly amazing woman.