Obituaries » Jeanita Coulthard Camm
Jeanita “Jean” Camm died July 10, 2022, surrounded by her loved ones. She was able to celebrate her 100th birthday with her family on their beloved Virginia Century farm, St. Moor, in Monroe. Jean was born in Cumbria, England on May 31, 1922. Growing up in Maryport, a little fishing village in Northern England, during WWII shaped her character for who she would become: her strength of will, her determination to help others, the importance of family and her genuine zest and joy of life.
As she became of age, she volunteered for the Women’s Land Army (“Land Girls”) to help bring in the harvest in southern England. In 1944, Jean was on her second trip when she met John A. Camm, a Lynchburg native and Private 1st Class in the American Army Air Corps. She was charmed by his Southern manners and good looks. A romance blossomed. The war ended and they were married June 18, 1945. Coming to the United States as a war bride was eye opening to this English lass, but she embraced this exciting new country with great zeal!
Her heart was her family and children and later her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She ingrained in all of her loved ones the importance of family, spending time together and a love for the written word. Her legacy is a family that enjoys to be together, with lots of laughter and love.
Little slowed her down! In addition to her family, she loved her community. One of the biggest needs she saw when moving into Amherst County in the late 1950’s was the lack of a public library. Jean, and her friends, were moved to action! They began the first Public Library in Amherst County, which opened in 1964. This continued her early passion for books! Beginning as Assistant Librarian in the new Public Library, Jean’s career grew to being a School Librarian, then becoming Media Coordinator for the entire Amherst County School System (in 1983 she was awarded the Outstanding Media Educator of the Year from the Virginia Educational Media Association). During this time she received her Bachelors Degree from Lynchburg College, and then a Masters Degree from James Madison University in Library Science.
Volunteering and giving to her community were important to Jean: American Red Cross, American Cancer Society (where she held State level position), Habitat for Humanity, and Hospice. She also became a Master Gardener with the Hill City Master Gardeners, was a longtime member of the Amherst County Women’s Club, a docent at Point of Honor in Lynchburg, and a volunteer librarian for the Virginia Seminary College. Jean also served on the Amherst County Health and Welfare Board, was committee chair. She was an active promotor for the health programs in Amherst County to the point of being the “Humor Cart Lady” providing magazines and friendly visits for the cancer patients in Virginia Baptist Hospital. In 2016 (Jean was 94), the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and the Blue Ridge Chapter DAR presented Jean “a chapter award for her lifetime service to the Lynchburg area, the Commonwealth of Virginia and her adopted country the United States of America.”
From childhood, Jean was raised in the Catholic faith and schooled by the nuns of Our Lady and St Patrick in Maryport. Once she had her own children, she stressed the importance of a firm faith. She was thrilled when Father Judge Mission Seminary (1960 – 1973) opened in Amherst County and faithfully attended Mass there. Jean was an original member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Amherst.
Jean lived an extraordinary life with rare drive, tenacity, hospitality, joy and love for all. We would certainly be blessed if we lived our own lives to this same measure.
Jean is survived by two sons, Jac Camm (Col., retired) (Suzanne), Bill Camm (Belinda); a daughter, Catherine Goetz (Mike); 7 grandchildren, John Camm III (Elizabeth), Lisa Williamson, Brittany Romanello (Brian), Brian Camm (Allison), Kevin Camm (Aimee), Matthew Goetz, John Goetz (Jillian); and 8 great grandchildren, Mia Romanello, Ella Romanello, Ava Romanello, Cammille Williamson, Rhian Williamson, Raliegh Camm, Brooks Camm and Leo Goetz.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John (celebrated 58 years of marriage), and a son Palmer.
The family wishes to express their deep, heartfelt thanks to Jean’s “helpers”: Jody Tedder and Patsy Mays. You both were extremely kind, patient and loving to her! We cannot thank you enough!
In lieu of flowers as an expression of condolences, please consider a contribution to the Amherst County Public Library.
A Mass will be said at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 332 S. Main Street, Amherst, Virginia, at 11:30 am, Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
A private family service will be held at the family farm later this year.
Tharp Funeral Home, Madison Heights is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit www.tharpfuenralhome.com.
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