Robert "Bob" Lyle Lamberson, 73, died Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, surrounded by loving family and friends. Many others sent light and love from their hearts.
Born April 14, 1938, in Idaho Falls, the only child to Lyle and Mabel Lamberson, Bob was raised on an 80-acre potato farm in the nearby community of Riverdale. As a toddler, Bob loved to sing to the farmyard chickens. His first public solo was in a Christmas pageant at church. He attended Shelley Middle School and Shelley High School, where he was a high school thespian.
He was an active member of the Riverdale Grange and Idaho State Grange. At 14, he began playing piano for grange meetings and later was organist for Shelley Community United Methodist Church. Bob was active in Future Farmers of America (FFA) and was selected to participate in National Chorus in Kansas City. Bob enlisted in the Idaho National Guard, serving as a medic, and soon worked for the Guard as an administrative specialist. He later worked at the National Reactor Testing Station in Arco, Idaho, for a federal contractor Westinghouse, which was testing methods to treat and store spent nuclear fuel from the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine.
In 1958, Bob married his musical partner and first love, Betty Samson. The couple performed duets for local events and was well-known in local grange and church communities. They were blessed with the birth of Debora Ann in 1959 and Timothy Lyle in 1962.
Bob became organist at First Lutheran Church, then organist and choir director at Shelley Community United Methodist Church, then was hired as the choir director of Trinity United Methodist Church in Idaho Falls.
Bob moved to Salem, Ore., in 1969 and received a degree in church music from Willamette University in 1974. In Salem, Bob played numerous roles with Pentacle Theatre and was vocal director for many productions. He delivered singing telegrams for Rent-A-Crazee. His passion for live theater grew, and in 1982, he moved to Portland, Ore., to pursue live theater as a career.
Bob was an accomplished singer, actor and dancer with extensive credits at many theater companies in the Portland area. Bob won awards from The Oregonian for his performances as "T.R." in "Tintypes" and as "Perelli" in the Portland Civic Theatre's production of "Sweeney Todd." He taught private voice and piano for 50 years in Idaho, Salem and Portland.
Bob met his true love, Timothy Berg, in 1983. They performed together in several theater productions, loved ballroom dance and joined the Rosetown Ramblers square dance club. They enjoyed a beautiful flower garden of Bob's design. Bob and Timothy shared their lives together for more than 28 years.
Bob is survived by his partner of 28 years, Timothy Berg; daughter, Debbie Farrell and her husband, Jack; son, Tim Lamberson and his wife, Marilyn; former wife, Betty Derricott; and cousin, Kent Lamberson.
A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1126 SW Park Ave. in Portland.
Donations may be made in Bob's name to the Willamette University Music Scholarship Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 370-6805.
Please visit www.boblamberson.com to share memories.
- The Post Register (Idaho Falls, ID), 20 Apr 2012