John Edward Lambeth, yacht captain and award-winning journalist, died Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, at his home in Gulfport. He was 62.
John was a U.S. Navy veteran who served as an aviation fire control technician during the Vietnam War aboard the Ticonderoga. Upon his return, he accepted a job in law enforcement, serving as the nation's youngest police chief, in Weir. Miss. His first newspaper job was in West Point, Miss., where he won state awards for investigative and community service journalism as well as photography. He came to the Sun Herald in 1981, and for many years was the newspaper's Outdoors editor. In 1995, his work was recognized with a lifetime achievement award by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation. John's final and favorite career combined his love of boats and fishing and the water; for the last 12 years he worked as a yacht captain in Mississippi and Alabama.
John fished in professional bass tournaments and saltwater tournaments his entire life, enjoying the boat racing and the camaraderie as much as the fishing. He was a charter member of the River Runners Bass Club and the Coastal Conservation Association in Mississippi. He was appointed by Gov. Ray Mabus to the five-state Gulf of Mexico Program.
John is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, B. Marie Harris of Gulfport; a son, Dathan Lambeth (Jessica), and grandchildren Glynis, Ezekiel and Josiah, of West Point; and a daughter, Angela Brethaur (Dale), and grandchildren Mellisa, Heather and Maraya, of Arvada, Colo. Local survivors include a brother, Robert Lambeth (Judy), of Vancleave; and a sister, Libby Walker, formerly of Biloxi; and a wealth of wonderful friends.
John requested no funeral or sadness, because he enjoyed a wonderful life and he entrusted his soul to God. He hoped that friends and family would remember him with a smile and a good story. He will be missed.
Fair winds and following seas, Cap'n John.
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Published by The Sun Herald on Sep. 15, 2010.