Passed away on October 31st in Cowichan District Hospital with her friend, Sharon by her side. Predeceased by her Mother, Ada Lamb (nee Best) and Father, David Lamb, she is survived by her Aunt Dorothy Niddrie and cousins Gail Montgomery, Peter Kendall, Sue Niddrie, Doug Best and Val East. She leaves behind her beloved dog, Rusty and best friend, Sharon Andersen.
Shirley was born February 28, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec. She enjoyed motorcycling, dancing, reading, and competitive swimming, living for weekends when she’d head to Morin Heights for skiing and good times with friends at Aunt Maudie’s. In 1972 she hitchhiked to the West Coast, but Montreal would always be called “home”.
Shirley loved life with a passion and enjoyed sharing stories, and laughs with her many friends. She had a smile for everyone and a vibrancy that would lift anyone’s spirits. She loved partying with her Red Hat groups, participating in T.O.P.S., the Spirit Drummers, swimming, listening to jazz, baking, playing with her dog, traveling, and watching Bonanza with Cecil. She was an accepting person who saw the good in everyone and that energy enriched the people whose lives she touched.
A passion for teaching, activism, and advocacy led her to family and community studies at Douglas College. Shirley became a child counselor for juvenile offenders, and taught in alternate schools for teens. She worked the rape/crisis lines at WAVAW, and led workshops on feminism, diversity and unlearning racism. Her engagement in these areas led to co-authoring the book, “Speak Out” on stopping child sexual abuse. She was proud to have been featured on the Diversity poster that was displayed throughout Vancouver, and in news articles about her projects. Shirley didn’t just adopt popular causes. She was a leader and pathfinder who raised public awareness to injustices before some of them even had names (size, ageism, and ableism among others). Shirley mentored others in the politics of change, and proactive ways to effect that transition. The question, “Whose interests are being served here?” would guide her endeavors.
In later years she continued to enjoy swimming, being a Spirit Drummer, traveling with friends, and enjoying visits with the Chemainus Adult Day Program women, and forming special relationships with the visiting hummingbirds.
Heartfelt thanks go out to the many people who were there when she needed them: The Crofton Volunteer Fire Department and Paramedics; the CDH Emergency staff for never giving up hope when things didn’t always look so good. Thanks to Dr. Fei Yang TCM), Rob Whittome, Cecil, Tom Roozendaal, and to Christine Baker, who helped Shirley to stay as independent as possible. Thanks to the staff of 2 South, and to Karen and Bruce for their support.
Join us for a celebration of Shirley’s life with a sharing of memories on Tuesday, November 17th from 1-3 in the Cowichan Cultural Centre’s Riverwalk Cafe (Note: parking & handicap access is available). Shirley will be laid to rest in the family plot at Mount Royal Cemetery, at a later date. Condolences, and reflections may be added at the website: sandsduncan.ca
For Shirley’s legacy, extend a helping hand to someone who needs it. In lieu of flowers, donations in Shirley’s name may be made to the charity of your choice.