FARMINGTON — Montress “Mont” Estelle (Wing) Lambert, 103, passed peacefully on Wednesday afternoon on Dec. 27, at Edgewood Living Center in Farmington, where she had been a resident for eight years, with her son, Roger and devoted Edgewood staff by her bedside.
Mont was born at the Wing Farm on the banks of the Sandy River in Avon, on Nov. 16, 1914, the youngest daughter of Chester and Nettie (Sargent) Wing. She grew up enjoying farm life and the benefits of a large extended family. She attended the Prescott School in the Wing neighborhood, later attending and graduating from Phillips High School, class of 1933, where she was noted for her red hair and feisty disposition.
Mont worked summers picking beans, corn and berries on the home place, and during her teenage years worked waitressing and housekeeping at Pickford Camps in Rangeley. She attended Pelletier’s School of Beauty in Lewiston and, upon graduating in 1934, opened up Mont’s Beauty Shop on Main Street in Strong. On Oct. 9, 1938, Montress married Elbert Lambert at her folks’ farm.
Shortly after their marriage, they bought the old livery stable on the corner of Main and Depot streets in Strong, which Billy McKeen had set up as a barber shop. They added a home and Mont set up her beauty shop, which she operated for 30 years. In 1964, she was forced to retire due to breast cancer. In the early 80’s, the cancer returned, but she was able to prevail once more without the aid of radiation or chemotherapy. Over the years since, Mont has reached out many times to breast cancer victims, giving them hope and encouragement as a two-time survivor herself.
For more than 70 years, Mont and Elbert were fixtures on Main Street in Strong, and recognized as “outstanding citizens” by the town in 1991. They were blessed with great neighbors, with whom they gardened and traveled. Montress loved spending summer vacations on Webb Lake in Weld and fall “leafpeeping” in the western mountains of Maine. On her 100th birthday, Montress was presented with the Boston Post Cane, recognizing her as Strong’s oldest resident.
Montress was a 50-year member of the Grange, Eastern Star and American Legion Auxiliary. She was a charter member of the Strong Historical Society and a member of the Strong United Methodist Church. She served the church for many years as communion steward and headed up the community birthday calendar campaign.
Montress and Elbert were blessed and survived by a son, Roger Lambert, and wife, Kathy of Strong; three grandchildren: Russell Lambert and Lydia Lerma of Fort Collins, Colo.; Kirsten Smith and husband, Chris, of Alpine, Utah; and Kasey Lambert of Strong; two great-granddaughters: Morgan Lambert of Crested Butte, Colo., and Sophie Smith of Alpine, Utah; many nieces and nephews, whom they loved, were close with and interested in.
Montress was predeceased by her husband of 72 years, Elbert H. Lambert, on Feb. 28, 2010.
The family would like to extend special, heartfelt thanks to: Beacon Hospice and the loving and devoted staff at Edgewood Rehab and Living Center in Farmington, who became part of Mont’s family, and to special friends: Kathy Haines of Salem, Karen Calloway of Phillips, Liz Toothaker of Strong and Lendall and Elaine Allen of Strong.
A life well lived — “When the roll is called up yonder, Mom, you’ll be there.”
Montress E. Lambert
Montress E. Lambert