Jocelyn Magrath Lamb lived and died on her own terms. She wanted no frills or fluffy language in her obit and insisted we refrain from any litany of her achievements (there were many) that would read like a resume. No, she wouldn't have it. She wanted anyone who might be interested enough to read of her passing, to be entertained. So, as not to "incur her incredible wrath", we all promised to do our best.
Our mom passed away, after 86 trips around the sun on Monday, April 4th at her home in Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania. We were with her; it was a gift. Born on March 15th, 1936, in New York City to Arthur Jocelyn Magrath and Marguerite Reilly Magrath, she spent her formative years splitting her time between a convent boarding school in Clearwater, Florida, and summers at her beloved Lake Memphremagog, in Knowlton Landing, Quebec. Mom traveled north, alone on the train, suitcase in hand to attend, what was then, Harcum Junior College. While at Harcum, she became involved with the Cap and Bells dramatic society at St. Joe's College and met a blue-eyed man named Bill Lamb, whom she married on September 6th, 1958.
Together they raised six children in the suburbs of Philadelphia, primarily on the "other side of the river" including Ambler and Gwynedd Valley. As well as many summers enjoyed in Avalon, NJ. As an only child, Mom said she always wanted a family, a big family. Six children in a ten-year span kept her very busy. Though our numbers were considered average back in the day, the BIG could be attributed to our personalities. We were a handful and she rose to the challenge. Our friends remember her as the "fun mom", our door was always open. She was a girl scout leader, a seamstress, a room mother, a Crew mother, and a stage mother (but in a good way). She was always our toughest critic and strongest ally, sometimes in the very same sentence. Mom once said, as a parent she tried to stay young enough to remember what it felt like to be a kid and old enough to remember what needed to be done. And do, she did. She was on the move and always involved. Mom started her own business with two friends, called "Finishing Touches" and had a grand time buying and selling (mostly buying) household "various and sundry". She was a longtime member of the Norristown Garden Club, including Holiday House and Philadelphia Flower Show committees and a founding member of the Fairwold Chapter of the Pennsylvania Questers. She'll be angry we added these bits in, however it's important to note she shared her wit and wisdom and disarming charm with all those she met. Her club reports were legendary for their humorous commentary and notably atrocious spelling.
Jocie, (pronounced with a soft "c" like Jossie, not Jozey; and please don't call her Jozey.) had an acerbic wit, as she referred to it. If you knew her well, you were most certainly on the receiving end at one time or another and you need to understand it all came with love (and maybe a little chardonnay).
Mom was a skilled golfer, bridge player, theatre goer, orchestra enthusiast, and she could steer a boat and paddle a canoe like nobody's business. She could do a cartwheel well into what we'd now refer to as middle age and continued her weekly workout sessions right up until the pandemic. She was smart, witty, brave, caring, generous, wildly creative with an elegant sense of style, brilliantly funny, and so fun to be with. She loved to shop, to laugh, to enjoy a glass of wine with friends, to watch the birds on her back deck, to read her book and remember the lake. She loved us and reminded us in her final days that we are a family and that is the gift that keeps on giving.
Jocie and Bill were married for 49 years. Together they made our family comprised of 6 children and their partners: Darcie (John) Rudolf, William A. Lamb, Jocelyn (Gary) Martone, Megan (Walter) Norris, Jennifer (Jery) Hewitt and Matthew J. (Jean) Lamb. Thirteen Grandchildren; Brent (Karen) Bommentre, Spencer Norris, Harry Hewitt, Celia Martone, Katherine Martone, Owen Norris, Samuel Hewitt, Maeve Norris, Elizabeth Lamb, Molly Hewitt and Katharine Lamb, Lucinda Lamb, William John Lamb and one great granddaughter, Dawn Casperson Bommentre. As well as her brother in-law, Thomas B. (Anne) Lamb, four nephews and one niece.
The world will not be the same without our mom in it. We know this and yet our sorrow is overshadowed by the joy and gratitude we have in knowing and loving her and in witnessing her journey.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday, April 18th at 11:00am with visitation beginning at 10:00am at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 380 Highland Lane, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Livestream available at: https://sjnparish.org Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be made to the Missionary Franciscan Sisters, c/o Sister Patricia Coyle. 253 Knickerbocker Road, Tenafly, NJ 07670, in her memory.
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