Mr. John Robert Lambert of Pinebluff passed away on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 in the FirstHealth Hospice House at the age of 77.
John attended Otego Central High School in Otego, NY where he was editor of the school newspaper, sang with the Choraleers, played baritone in the band, and was president of the FFA. He graduated in 1959 and then joined the US Air Force shortly after graduation; his first military base was at Plattsburgh, NY, where he met and married his wife of 54 years, Marie Kazmierczak.
He was transferred to Anderson AFB on Guam at the start of the Viet Nam war. He wrote of the beautiful white beaches, palm trees and perfect weather, and lots of time off. When Marie and their newborn baby, Michelle, arrived from Buffalo in February, 1965 things had changed. The war was gearing up and he was so busy that he could not get time off work , so he had his first sergeant pick them up at the airport. Over the next 2 years on Guam they did manage to enjoy the beach, ride his motor scooter around the island, snorkel and collect shells, and attend fiestas with their Guamanian friends.
The next 2 years were spent at Clinton-Sherman AFB in Oklahoma, followed by a year at Nha Trang in Vietnam, where he was injured and earned a Purple Heart. In his “dream sheet” request, he asked for an east coast base for his next duty station; however, he got orders to go to Vandenburg, AFB in California. There, he learned to play golf and enjoyed trips sightseeing, attending Dodgers baseball games, and going to Las Vegas and Reno. After 4 years, he again requested an east coast base, and was transferred to Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC, where he received an Air Force Accommodation medal. He remained in Goldsboro until his military retirement in 1979.
At 38, John was too young to actually retire, so he entered a partnership in a motel and restaurant business, the Wheel House and Galley on the Morehead City, NC waterfront. A totally new and interesting venture, he learned a lot, worked a lot, and met many interesting people. They sold the business, but the Lambert family remained in Carteret County, where they lived for 29 years until he and his wife moved to Pinebluff, NC in December, 2007. When asked where he was from, he always said he was from the south (the south of New York State, that is). But his heart was in the south and in particular, North Carolina, and here he stayed.
Never wearing just one hat, John worked many part time jobs during his Air Force days, and afterward; he had a variety of interests and adventures. He enjoyed teaching and coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball and youth football. He was a used car salesman, imported and sold fresh cut flowers, sold pianos and organs, and taught himself to play the organ. He also showed and raised Shetland Sheepdogs and was a charter member and past president of the Goldsboro chapter of the American Kennel Club.
Finding an interest in politics while campaigning for Ronald Reagan, he became Carteret County Republican Party chairman, and was a campaign manager for a congressional candidate. He later traveled throughout eastern NC selling subscriptions to National Write Your Congressman, and also wrote a book about political things he’d learned.
John later became a member of the Carteret County prison board, served on the County Domiciliary Board and was an advocate for the developmentally and physically disabled.
A natural leader, John became president of The Pines HOA, and later served as chairman of the architectural committee. He had an interest in so many things, and was an avid blogger and journaled every day. He often said he didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up.
John is preceded in death by his grandparents Leon and Rose Lambert; mother ,Ernestine Marie Wellman Tubbs; daughters, Denise Marie Lambert, Michelle Jeannine Carter, and sister, Kathleen Kelsey.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marie Lambert; daughters, Renee Nicole Nance and Simone Monique Rice; grandchildren, Shawn, Steven and Kelly Carter, Samantha and Sarah Rice, and Caroline Nance; great grandchildren, Bentley Bowman, Arianna, Mackenzie and Madeline Carter. Also, he is survived by siblings Eugene Kelsey, Ramona Adolfsen, Sandra Hoag, Richard Wellman, Owen Timothy Wellman, George Wellman, Deforest Wellman, Delma Wellman, James Wellman, Lucilla Pendleton, Neal Wellman and Alice Balogh.
Local arrangements are by Crumpler Funeral Home of Aberdeen, with interment at a future date in Forestville, New York.
A memorial service will be held November 3, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Sandhills Assembly of God Church in Southern Pines, NC.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Teen Challenge, PO Box 1701, Southern Pines, NC 28388, or to Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake, 506 Alexander Ave., Box A, Durham, NC 27705-4760, or to a charity of choice.