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L. Gary Lambert completed his life in retirement in Ivins, Utah, among the best of friends. He passed away very peacefully and gently at his home on March 11, 2016 from the ravages of Parkinson’s disease and pulmonary hypertension. He was born in Ogden, UT on November 9, 1937 to Leo Alexander and Melba Dorothy Jensen Lambert. His first eight years were often spent on or near farms where he heard heavy European accents and grew close to fun-loving cousins. Winters were harsh and the economy was weak. These were war years: war with the economy, wars with Germany and Japan.
High school years were filled with fun and popularity, more good friends like Chuck Epstein, Bill Mozzaco, Ley Campbell, Myra Bono and Nikki Nostrand. Not much of an athlete, he nevertheless lettered in track and won second place in the all-city cross-country competition. He graduated from Stockton High School and then began working for Paul Cox ‘s paint and wallpaper studio.
Courses at Delta Junior College in Stockton, CA, new friends and a personally improved life style followed an epiphany with the Book of Mormon. It wasn’t long before Gary received a call to serve a French-speaking mission in Belgium, only a few meters away from the Meuse River where his Lambert family ancestors had been baptized before immigrating to Utah.
Following a life-enriching mission, Gary fell in love and has never recovered from the happiness it has brought him! The best advice he ever received came from his bishop and grandfather: marry Peggy Corcoran! And so he did! A year later (1961) they made their vows in the Los Angeles Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since then, they have become parents to seven exceptional children: Eric, Gretchen, Brig, Inger , Kira, Jake, and Mari.
He received his BA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963, an MA from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1965 and a PhD from Rice University in 1969. His areas of academic focus and research were Voltaire and Rousseau. He began teaching in the French and Italian Dept at Brigham Young University in Provo in 1969 and retired in 2004. During those years he served as bishop of his Orem neighborhood ward and the BYU Lamanite ward. He also served two terms as department chair at the university.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy, brothers Randy and Lynn, and three sons and four daughters: Eric (Margaret) in Lexington KY; Brig (Leah) in Alpine UT; Jake (Lucille) in Draper UT; Gretchen in Ivins UT; Inger (Jeff) in Farmington UT; Kira (Joe) in Melissa TX and Mari (Dan) in Draper. Beloved grandchildren are Zach, Adam, Alek, Ellen, Caleb, Asia, Sam, Ben, Maddie, Max, Maggie, Quinn, Gabe, Seth, Jaron, Calyn, Joshua, Ian, Regan, Stella, Evie, and Flynn.
In lieu of services, there will be two opportunities to celebrate Gary’s well-lived life with family and friends:
- March 17th at the home of Brig and Leah Lambert from 11-1pm. (661 S. Pheasant Ridge Ct, Alpine UT)
- March 18th at the home of Gary and Peggy Lambert from 11-1pm in Ivins, UT.
Sun Tree Hospice is due every measure of thanks for the care that they provided. Nurse Mike Nessun became friend and care-giver. Every possible need was provided for; the care was beyond our expectations.
Donations and contributions may be made to the Fast Offering Fund of the LDS Church.
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