Kanawha County native and former White House employee remembers late President Bush
For 43 years, Cedar Grove native Jean Lamb worked for the federal government putting in long hours, and tackling the hustle and bustle of the nation's capital city.
"It was the best job," Lamb said. "I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. It was tough at times, but I learned to just keeping moving on no matter what happened."
A week after graduating from Cedar Grove High School, Lamb moved to Washington, D.C., to start her career. Throughout more than four decades she worked her way up in administrative work. She worked under six presidents, starting under Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency. She said President George H.W. Bush was one of the most memorable.
"He might not know your name, but he knew your face. He would always acknowledge you. I always thought that was so great. There were many times when he would just check on everyone in their offices," Lamb said.
Lamb worked as an administrative officer in the White House. She handled tasks including payroll, billing, booking and her favorite responsibility, making sure the president's Christmas cards were sent out.
"I had a staff to oversee, and they were just the greatest. We would sit and organize those Christmas cards all night. Anything the White House staff needed, they came to our office for. We were in charge of parking, travel expenses, the White House decor expenses, we worked on a lot of things people probably wouldn't think about," she said.
Tackling a tough job in one of the most competitive cities in the world, she said still left her unprepared for the death of a commander in chief.
"I just had to cry," Lamb said. "When you spent years working for someone, it hurts when they're not here, even though I know he had a life worth living. He was 94 years old. He was ready to live another life, in heaven."
Lamb retired from her administrative job under President George H. W. Bush's presidency. The administration held a celebration for her, and the president framed and signed several pictures for her. She told Eyewitness News she wouldn't trade her career for the world. Lamb now resides back in Cedar Grove in Kanawha County.