Shirley Ann Lamp Nickerson, 92, Washington native, deceased January 12, 2018 was born on July 15, 1925. Shirley was the first of three daughters born to Albert Lamp and Myrtle Phelps Lamp of Arlington. Shirley attended Arlington schools through high school when she graduated in 1943. She received a BA in Education from Washington State College in 1947. Shirley was a proud member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. On September 1947 she married William W . Nickerson, and they began their teaching careers in Entiat, Washington, where their two children were born. Bill’s advancing career took them to Edwall, Wilbur and Warden, Washington.
Shirley was a mother and homemaker until she resumed her teaching career when the family moved to Mount Vernon, Washington, in 1964. She earned an MS in Library Science from the University of Washington. Shirley delighted in her role as children’s librarian at Washington and Madison schools, where she was given the title of Queen of the Library. She was a connoisseur of books with a goal of finding just the right one for each student. The best thing about our Mom was her big personality. Her gregarious spirit brought liveliness to each place she entered. Shirley loved to have fun (after work was done), and was an unfailing optimist loyally supporting those around her. She was a tough member of the Greatest Generation rarely showing vulnerability outside of her family. She loved daffodils, parades (especially the 4th of July), Cougar football, her beach cabin (paradise on earth), gardening, good food, accomplishments, celebrations of any kind, and friends, friends, friends.
Upon retirement her curiosity led her to Africa and Europe (she found relatives in Denmark). She recorded her adventures as she went. Her adaptability was remarkable – she raised two teenagers independently while caring for aging parents and working.
Shirley lost her vision in her late 70s necessitating a move to independent living at Mountain Glen. She decided to behave as if she were in a college dorm rather than a retirement facility. Shirley met each newcomer and after a conversation she knew their story, how the two of them were connected and what made them unique and interesting. Shirley effected so many people – her family is just getting an inkling of how many over the past two weeks. Even though she stated “At 92, I’ve had a good run of it, and I’m ready to go.”
Shirley will be deeply missed by her family and friends. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy of Shoreline, WA, son, Tom (Julie) of Anacortes, WA; sister, Fredda Pfau of Seattle; granddaughter, Alaina of Denver, grandson, Seth (Liz) of Sedro Woolley, WA, niece, Jayne Hulsey, nephews, Jed and Jeff Hulsey; and friends, Kathy Hardgrave and Beth Barrett.
Shirley was predeceased by her parents, Albert and Myrtle Lamp; sister, Barbara Lamp, and former husband, Bill Nickerson. A Celebration of A Life Well Lived will be held at Mountain Glen on March 3, 2018 from 3-5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Shirley’s name to Mount Vernon Public Schools Foundation (supportmvschools.org ) o purchase books for the elementary libraries in which she worked.