Ivey Adell Lambert, a retired teacher and Republican Party activist who called Sacramento's Curtis Park neighborhood home for almost a century, died Nov. 15 at 96, her family said.
Mrs. Lambert taught English, speech and art to thousands of students for 38 years. Starting before World War II, she spent time at Nevada City High School, Sacramento City High School and Redwood City High School before teaching many years at Sacramento City College. She was the first director of art education at Cosumnes River College, where she retired in the 1970s.
Mrs. Lambert was an active member and leader in many groups. She started a Republican Club at Sacramento City College during the 1960s and belonged to the California Republican Central Committee and California Republican Women. She founded the Presbyterian Women group and was an elder at Faith Presbyterian Church in Sacramento.
In Curtis Park, Mrs. Lambert was a beloved neighbor and pioneer. She was born Feb. 15, 1916, in a home that her father built in 1911 on Second Avenue, which later became Fifth Avenue, said her son Kent.
She was the only surviving child of Mabel and Richard Ruiter, a contractor who built many of the first houses in Curtis Park. She spent most of her life in a second home he built on Fifth Avenue, where she hosted tea parties and gatherings for friends.
A matriarch of five generations, she also served as a surrogate grandmother for many neighborhood families.
"She held their babies and spent holidays with them," her son said. "People told me that she was the only grandmother their families knew."
Mrs. Lambert graduated from Sacramento High School and Sacramento Junior College and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in art from Mills College. She belonged to PEO Sisterhood and was a former president of the Sacramento City College Emeriti Affiliates.
She had three children and was married for 31 years to William A. Lambert, a lawyer and Republican activist who died in 1978.
She is survived by her children, William Lambert of Richland, Wash., Louise Fredericks of Oroville, and Kent Lambert of Colorado Springs, Colo.; eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.
A service was held Nov. 21. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Faith Presbyterian Church, 625 Florin Road, Sacramento, CA 95831; POE Chapter IP in care of Elaine Fowler, 15031 Guadalupe Drive, Rancho Murieta, CA 95683; or Gideons International, www.gideons.org.