William D. "Bill" Lambert, 80, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, at Swedish Hospital in Denver.
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He was born on May 27, 1933, in McCook, Neb., the second son of Irvin Wayne and Clara Francis (Rowland) Lambert. Bill grew up in McCook, attending school and graduating from McCook High School in 1951. He attended and graduated from McCook Junior College in 1953 with a associates of arts degree in agriculture.
In 1953, he volunteered for a three-year commitment in the U.S. Army and reported to Omaha, Neb. From there, he completed his basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., graduating from surveying school. He was assigned duties in the Mariana Islands, Philippines, Korea and Japan. Following his time in the service, he attended Kearney State Teachers College, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in industrial arts in 1959 and a master's degree in 1965.
His interest in sports allowed him to play football at McCook High School and in junior college where he played center on the 1958 KSTC championship team.
While attending college, he met Jean Marie Frates and later proposed to her on the 50-yard line during their 1957 homecoming. They were married on Aug. 3, 1958, in Brule, Neb. After graduation, they moved to Brady, Neb., where they both taught school, and Bill coached the high school football team. In 1962, they moved to Conifer, where he taught technical arts at West Jefferson Junior High School until his retirement in 1992. During his teaching career, he coached football and basketball; however, his passion was coaching track and field where he produced many successful teams. Throughout his life, he fondly recalled with pride the many talented athletes he coached, and he especially enjoyed visits from former students during his retirement years.
His passionate hobby was wood turning, and he spent hours upon hours at the wood lathe. He produced many beautiful lamps, bowls and vases from native aspen wood. He filled thousands of plastic Easter eggs, and they invited the neighborhood children and others to enjoy the annual egg hunts at their home. He was especially known for the thousands of Christmas snowmen he produced that were sent all over the world.
Bill was involved with Troop 400 BSA at Conifer Community Church for as long as his two sons were involved. The pride he carried with him was that both sons received their Eagle Scout award. Spending time with the troop and camping at various sites, including sleeping in a snow bank as the boys received their polar bear award, were indeed happy times for him. He was so proud of his daughter, Jennifer, as she continued the family teaching tradition.
Bill was involved with his church for many years, serving as a deacon and on the building committee, and spending many donated hours with hammer and nail as additions went up. He loved hunting, camping, fishing and stamp collecting, but his greatest love was spending time with family and friends and following his beloved Nebraska Cornhusker football team.
Survivors include his wife, Jean of Conifer; son Alan (Patty) of Rifle, son Jon of Conifer and daughter Jennifer (Michael Blackwell); and granddaughters Grace and Ellie Blackwell of Littleton. He was preceded in death by his parents, I.W. Lambert (Clara Rowland); and brother Gary.
His ashes will later be interred in the cemetery in Brule, Neb.
Published in High Timber Times from Jan. 8 to Jan. 14, 2014