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EVELYN J. LAMPE

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Evelyn J. Lampe, 84, Born Evelyn Genevieve James Johnston in Kenosha, WI October 12, 1928, the friend of many and mother of Diane K. Lampe passed away in Chicago November 21, 2012. A person of unquenchable curiosity and interest, her academic career included Zion-Benton Township Schools, the University of Dubuque, and the University of Iowa before she received her bachelor's degree at the University of Montana, followed by an M.A. in American history at the University of Miami. She and her husband, Dr. Kenneth F. Lampe, lived in Miami for a quarter of a century, where she helped run the book sale at the Fairchild Gardens, briefly operated a bookstore, and pursued other interests as diverse as forensics and fencing. She same, with husband and daughter, to Chicago in 1980, and quickly became part of cultural affairs there as well. An enthusiastic member of the Friends of American Writers (for whom she served on the Children's Book Committee), the Musicians Club of Women, and the Caxton Club, she helped found the annual Book Fair at the Newberry Library and the Book Exchange at the Plaza on DeWitt. She served as Book Fair Curator at the Newberry until 1995 and worked as Curator Emerita every year after that. Her service on the Condominium Board at the Plaza on DeWitt spanned decades, ending in early 2012. Preceded in death by her husband, her parents, James and Margaret Johnston, and one godson, William Lamos, she is survived by her daughter, her godsons, Noah, Christopher and John Lamos, her "adoptive grandsons" Kenneth and Stephen Wu, her "long-distance daughter" Shirley D. Ricks, her cat Casimir, her grandcats Scotty and Smootie, brother-in-law William J. Crawford, sister-in-law Lois Johnsgard, numerous nieces and nephews, and roughly seventy thousand very close personal friends. She loved books, people, and hot fudge sundaes, not particularly in that order. Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to PAWS, the Anti-Cruelty Society, or an animal rescue society of your choice, or to a book rescue organization like the Newberry.
Published in Chicago Tribune on Nov. 28, 2012
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