Christine Louise Lamm – In Memoriam

Chris Lamm was a beloved member of CEASE and a life long peace and social justice activist.

Christine Louise Lamm

Chris Lamm passed away in 2014.

Chris Lamm described herself as an eclectic grassroots organizer and collaborator. She made a difference in the lives of all she encountered – family, friends, colleagues, students, and children. To deepen her commitment to social justice issues, she took leadership roles and supported many organizations; among them are CEASE, Nonviolence in the Lives of Children Project, Orange County Peace Camp, and the Fullerton Collaborative.

Dr. Christine Lamm recently retired from her work as a full-time faculty member of the Child Development and Educational Studies Department of Fullerton College. Her unequivocal commitment to social justice was clearly evident in the classes she taught and the influence she had on the campus. She was instrumental in the creation of the Fullerton College’s Student Equity Committee, KinderCaminata and the Fullerton College Food Bank Collaborative.

As a long-time activist for peace and social justice, it was an obvious match for Chris to join the Concerned Educators Allied for a Safe Environment (CEASE) and attend its retreats. In the early 1990’s she made her first appearance at the Cambridge site, arriving early one June morning at the home of CEASE founder Peggy Schirmer and her husband Boone, on Gerry Street. She loved to tell the story of that first visit when she entered the house, saw a detailed note taped to the stairs, and followed its instructions to join Boone in the kitchen for tea and conversation. That was the beginning … and the morning continued with a demonstration at Harvard Square. No wonder Chris was “hooked,” as she loved to say!

Chris never missed an annual retreat. from that time even to this year. She functioned as the chair of the group’s discussions by drafting an agenda, calling us to order, and keeping the discussion on track. She was our faithful note taker, describing the discussions in great detail and always sending out the notes in a timely fashion. The “To Do Lists” she documented were a great help in reminding us of our commitments to the work of CEASE.

Chris was passionate about and mentored the process of collaboration wherever she went, especially valuing the CEASE collaborative culture. She was a strong leader, and she understood the need for promoting leadership in others. To Chris, everyone’s voice was welcome at the table; everyone should be heard. She often took the lead to help make things happen, and then created process by which others could participate. Many have grown and benefited from her mentoring of the collaborative process.

Chris brought not only her commitment and brilliance to CEASE; she also brought joy and laughter. There was nothing more reassuring to the CEASE working team than to see Chris light up with her brilliant smile. Her ‘joie de vivre’ was clearly evident when she engaged in what she called “self-care.” She looked forward to taking work to her mountain cabin in Wrightwood, California, a haven for reflection and renewal amidst the abundant life there. She generously shared that haven with young Peace Camp leaders and others who she mentored. She enjoyed trips to her friend Susan Hopkins’ cabin high in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, touring Provincetown, Massachusetts, walking the beaches of Cape Cod and touring with friends to another favorite place, The Inn at Shelburne Farms in Vermont.

Chris’ passion for CEASE, the retreats, and the work were brought full circle this summer as she organized bringing four new folks members to the retreat. They brought youthful energy, enthusiasm, and new skills to the group. Many have grown and benefited from her mentoring of the collaborative process. Her legacy lives on!

Boone Schirmer, Sunny Wallick, Peggy Schirmer (founder of CEASE) and Christine Lamm in 2003
Boone Schirmer, Sunny Wallick, Peggy Schirmer (founder of CEASE) and Chris Lamm in 2003

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