Norma Jean Lamb

An active contributor to the music community of Buffalo since 1959, Norma Jean Lamb, born on June 18, 1929, in Plattsburgh to Florence Shevalier Lamb and William Brewster Lamb, died peacefully at the Rosa Coplan Home on the Weinberg Campus on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020.

Norma Jean grew up in Lake Placid and graduated as valedictorian of the Lake Placid High School Class of 1947. She continued her education at Potsdam State Teachers College, graduating in 1951, receiving a bachelors degree in teaching. She served as her class alumni secretary between 1971 until 2016.

Norma Jean received a master’s degree in music at Northwestern University in 1955 and completed her master’s degree in library science at Western Reserve University in 1959, after which she moved to Buffalo.

Once in Buffalo, Norma Jean joined the staff of the Music Department of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, becoming departmental head in 1974, a position she maintained until her retirement in 1995. Her community activities included board membership of the Community Music School of Buffalo between 1972 and 1977, serving as secretary from 1973 to 1976; board membership of Young Audiences of WNY from 1974 to 1992, serving as treasurer between 1975 and 1991. A board member of the Chromatic Club of Buffalo from1999 to 2005, she served as recording secretary during that time.

Norma Jean was an accomplished soprano and performed as a soloist for the Central Presbyterian Church between 1965 and 1985. She belonged to various local choruses between 1964 and 2003, particularly the Buffalo Choral Arts Society and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus.

The National Music Library Association appointed Norma Jean to be the chair of the Public Library Committee from 1983 to 1987. In addition, she served as the editor of the Information Sharing Sub-committee bulletins between 1987 and 1991. Buffalonians may well remember Norma Jean as the author of “Setting the Stage,” a feature article for the bulletin of Opera Buffs of Western New York, until she left in 2018.

Norma Jean traveled extensively and enjoyed attending local concerts, operas, theater performances, reading, watching movies and spending time with friends.

She is survived by her beloved spouse, who had been her partner for more than 60 years, R. Irene Dwigans, numerous cousins and many valued friends.

A celebration of her life will be held at a future date.

In Norma Jean’s memory, please consider a donation to the Lake Placid Public Library, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra or the philanthropy of your choice.