Memorial Day and Loss of Another “Rosie” at W.Va. | News, Sports, Jobs
ELKINS, W.Va.- Another sad sighting comes this Memorial Day weekend as West Virginia loses another of its few leftovers “Rosie the Riveters.”
Verla “Bobbie” Lamb, 98, died on Wednesday May 26 at her home in Elkins.
Lamb was proud to have worked at Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company in Baltimore, Maryland, as “Rosie the Riveter”, doing sheet metal and riveting jobs during World War II.
As part of the American Rosie Movement, Lamb contributed to the “Ring the bell for Rosie the Riveter” effort, which began in 2014 on Labor Day.
In memory of all the Rosies, Verla was the first to ring the bell, which performed at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. Today, a bell rings around the world every Labor Day.
Anne Montague, founder and leader of the American Rosie Movement and “Thank you,” said Lamb was the Rosie to ring the bell at the inaugural “Ring a Bell for Rosies” event, which is now an international event.
This description – from an Associated Press article by Lawrence Messina in West Virginia newspapers – explains the wartime efforts of the West Virginia Rosies:
They built fleets of Avengers and Marauders, planes that the Americans sent into battle during World War II. They carefully assembled countless explosive fuses and separated the chemicals to make TNT. Without knowing it at the time, some even made parts for the atomic bombs that helped end the war.
They were Western Virginians who served on the home front, among the millions of women who worked in the defense factories to provide the war effort. These are the real lives behind the cultural icon known as “Rosie the Riveter”, and they started telling their stories while they still can.
Rosies did all kinds of work as the United States increased war production, including those traditionally occupied by men when women replaced them in the military. The effort to recruit the necessary manpower led to images of the female patriotic worker in rolled up sleeves made famous by Norman Rockwell, J. Howard Miller and others. The propaganda campaign also spawned a hit song at the time.
The American Rosie Movement, led by Anne Montague, tells the story of Rosies and the American Rosie Movement.
In December 2012, Lamb had the honor of participating in an interview of all the surviving West Virginia Rosies with Ann Curry from the TODAY show.
As part of the ringing of the bell and recognition of Rosies, the American Rosies Moment has designated six cities as Rosie Cities role models: Huntington, WV: Washington, DC; Camden, SC; Brunswick, MD; Philadelphia, PA,; Washington DC
But this Memorial Day weekend, Montague said the remaining Rosies will be thinking of Lamb and his efforts at the first “Ring a Bell for Rosies” event.
The following is taken from Lamb’s obituary:
Verla Katherine Shreve Lamb, 98, left this life on Wednesday May 26, 2021 at her Elkins residence after a brief illness.
She was a loving wife and devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She was known as “Bobbie” to all his friends and family and called with love “Grandma Bobbie” by his great-grandchildren.
She was born in Vegan, West Virginia on Saturday October 21, 1922 to mother Hazel Talbott Shreve and raised by her grandparents, Hulda and Darius Talbott.
She graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in the class of 1941.
She married Arnol Gordon Lamb on October 12, 1940 in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, and celebrated 63 years of marriage until her death on February 21, 2003.
Lamb was proud to have worked at Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company in Baltimore, Maryland, as “Rosie the Riveter”, doing sheet metal and riveting jobs during World War II. …
She lived with Arnol and their son, Arnol Jr., in Baltimore, Maryland, until 1950, when they returned to Elkins and she worked at Hogan as an accountant for 29 years until her retirement.
She is predeceased by her husband Arnol; mother, Hazel Talbott Shreve; and brothers, Mike, Robert and Paul Shreve.
She is survived by her son, Arnol Lamb, Jr. and his wife, Donna, of New Bern, North Carolina; granddaughter, Monica Christine Haskins and husband, Freddy, of New Bern, North Carolina; great-grandchildren, Allison Nicole Haskins of New Bern, NC, Michael Haskins and wife, Emily, of Jacksonville, NC; great-great-grandchildren, Riley and Liam; grandson, Brandon Arnol Lamb and wife, Leeza, of Yakima, Washington; great-grandchildren, Samantha Donna Lamb, Xarah Virginia Lamb, Kalub Arnol Lamb, Rebecca Caroline Lamb and Abraham Brandon Lamb, all of Yakima, Washington; her sister, Wannie Harris of Hugesville, Maryland; and many nieces and nephews, who were very special to her.
She was a member of the Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church for 50 years. She was active in her community and was always there to help others. She was President of the Garden Club and while a member of Beta Alpha Beta, she was chosen Secretary of the Year.
Her fondest memories were of a trip to the west, where she was able to attend the baptismal services for two of her great-grandchildren in the “Cathedral of the Rockies” Boise Methodist Church, Idaho; she saw the Hoover Dam as she fulfilled her dream of seeing the Grand Canyon and spent several days in Sedona, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Other memorable events in her life were the celebration of her 60th wedding anniversary, her numerous birthday parties with her friends and family, and a family reunion with her siblings and their families were also special to her.