Elizabeth "Libby"'s Story
Elizabeth "Libby" Gordon Lord (nee Topp), beloved wife of the late Robert I. Lord, and mother of Gordon Lord (Laurie) of Goshen, Mimi Lord (Jim Wilson) of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and the late William Lord, and grandmother of Mary, Geoffrey and Sarah Lord, and Heather and Nathan Wilson, died peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of Nov. 28 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Libby was loved by so many, and in turn loved everyone she knew (as well as those she never met!). She had a full and happy life due to all of her treasured relationships.
Libby was born April 14, 1922, in Pulaski, Tennessee, to Mary and Gordon Topp. She grew up with three sisters on a beautiful farm in Pulaski, riding horses and playing in the swimming hole that her father would dredge every spring. Libby attended public schools in Pulaski and Lynnville, Tennessee, followed by Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and education. She met Robert Lord, who was attending Vanderbilt at the same time, and they were married April 29, 1943. Robert served as a captain in the Marines in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and worked in civil engineering after the war. Libby worked as a bank teller and English teacher during and after the war until their first child, Gordon, was born in Columbia, Tennessee, in 1948.
After moving to Washington in 1950, Libby and Robert had two more children, Mimi in 1951 and Bill in 1954. Robert owned and managed a hardware store in Washington for more than 40 years. Libby helped at the store while taking care of the children and her mother following a severe stroke. Later she began teaching again, first in kindergarten for several years and then at Washington High School, where she taught English literature and composition for 15 years. During this period, she also earned a master's degree in education at Indiana University and taught certain courses at Vincennes University. Many of her former students and friends recently sent messages to her Facebook page (under Libby Lord) which you may choose to visit.
In Washington, Libby and Robert were very involved in their church, Westminster Presbyterian, as well as in many civic endeavors and non-profit or charitable organizations. Robert served on the city council for 16 years. In 1988 Libby received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from then Gov. Robert Orr, a tribute to her distinguished service to the state and the Washington community.
Both before and after retirement from teaching, Libby loved playing tennis, bridge and golf with her dear Washington friends.
Robert died in 1995; a few years later, Libby moved to Cleveland near Mimi, and became active at Fairmount Presbyterian Church. She lived her last years in a beautiful retirement building adjacent to the University Circle cultural hub in Cleveland. For all 95 years of her exemplary life, Libby was kind, generous, gregarious, energetic, thoughtful and wise, a perfect role model for her family, and the hundreds of students she taught over her long career.
Visitation hours will be at Gill Funeral Home in Washington on Sunday Dec. 3, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Other visitation will be 10 a.m. Monday Dec. 4, followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service, both at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Washington. A reception at the church will follow. A private burial for family will occur at Sugarland Memory Gardens. Memorials may be made in Libby's honor to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Washington, 110 N.E. Second St., 47501.
Published on December 1, 2017