In Memoriam: International Past President Shelby P. Hamlett
September 17, 2020
GFWC was sad to learn that Shelby P. Hamlett, 2000–2002 International President, passed away on September 14, 2020.
Born in Wytheville, Virginia, Shelby spent most of her life in Roanoke, a vibrant city among the Blue Ridge Mountains where she began her club work at the age of 18 with the Brambleton Junior Woman’s Club. Just as Roanoke has an iconic star that sparkles over the city from a high mountaintop, GFWC had a shining star in Shelby.
Shelby never met a stranger—everyone was a friend. All who knew her would agree that she was truly interested in whatever you had to share. Despite frequent separations from her federation sisters, Shelby had the gift of reconnecting with friends as if they had never been apart.
Shelby loved GFWC with all her heart and held tremendous faith in the Federation and its members. Under her leadership, GFWC established the Leadership Education and Development Seminar (LEADS). Even in the face of declining membership, Shelby believed that educated and inspired leaders would keep the Federation strong.
Those privileged to call Shelby a friend agree she personified Mary Stewart’s Collect for Clubwomen. She touched and knew “the great, common human heart of us all.” Shelby’s grace, kindness, and generous spirit will always be remembered.
An eight-year Air Force veteran, Penny has been a GFWC member since 2008, and is currently serving as the club president of GFWC Helena Woman’s Club (Montana).
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
Junior Woman's Club of State College
When Robbin Zirkle moved back to the area after grad school, she addressed the challenge many people face as adults—making new friends— by joining the Junior Woman’s Club of State College (Pennsylvania). GFWC provided her a place to connect with like-minded women who shared her passion for community service.