Norman M. Lambert
Alzheimer's Dreadful Journey
"Mary Doesn't Live Here Any More"
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current projects
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current & past classes
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Norman was a New Year’s Day present to his parents Carl and Bessie Lambert in 1935. He was born in Jefferson Hospital, Los Angeles, California. His dad, Carl Thornton Lambert was employed as a milker at the Western Farms Dairy in Norwalk, California, along with two other men, milking 300 head of Holstein cows twice daily seven days a week. Carl and Bessie met while both were students at Utah State College in Logan, Utah, where Bessie was born and lived with her family of four brothers and five sisters. In early spring of 1934, Bessie’s father, Walter Marion Everton, married Carl and Bessie at the family home, 518 East Main, Logan Utah. Carl bought and restored a 1913 model T Ford and the newlyweds made the trip to California, camping each night along the way. After three years on the dairy farm Carl and Bessie had saved enough money that they moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where Carl entered the School of Veterinary Medicine. One year later Norman enrolled in Kindergarten. When Carl graduated in 1942 Norman had finished the first grade and the family moved back to California, ending up in Visalia. Carl began practicing Veterinary Medicine in Visalia in 1942 and would eventually retire from practice there in the mid 1980’s. Norman went to elementary school at East Lynne school, a small three room country school, just east of Visalia. Back row: Mary, Norma. Front row: Gretchen, Norman, Joshua. He then went to Visalia Union High School where he was fortunate enough to play on their first Valley Championship football team in 1949, his junior year. Two of his team mates went on to become very famous in their own right, Jack and Joe Hannah, founders and 2/3's of the Sons of the San Joaquin ( In High School Norman met Mary Alice Lauffenburger and during their junior year they started “going steady.” After two years at the College of Sequoias, Norman and Mary were married and moved to San Francisco, where Norman entered San Francisco State College. In June, 1955 Norman graduated, Mary gave birth to their first child, Norma Jane Lambert, and Norman quit his night job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (as a night clerk) and went to work as a salesmen selling electrical insulating materials to motor shops and the new electronics industry growing up around San Jose. In 1959 Norman and Carl got together and opened a pet shop in Visalia. A second child, Mary Margaret (Gretchen) had been born in 1958. The family moved to Visalia. In 1963 a son was added to the family, Joshua Eric. In 1965 the pet shop was moved to an enclosed mall in Visalia. Then in 1969 another move was made. Norman and Mary sold the business and their home and moved to Berkeley, where Norman enrolled in the Institute of Lay Theology, one of the schools associated with the Graduate Theological Union, to work toward his master’s degree in theology. Mary got a job at Walt’s Pharmacy in downtown Berkley and Norman went to school and took over all the household duties. Barbara McMullen and Norman Lambert Upon graduating, Norman got a job with the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland and the family moved across the country, settling in Linthicum, Maryland. Norman worked as a religious educator and trainer with the urban parishes and Mary started teaching in an urban city preschool program. After ten years of church work Norman went to work for the Ruppert Brothers Corp., a group of insulation contracting companies with operations from New Jersey to Georgia. Mary also started working at the corporate offices of Ruppert Bros. in Severna Park, Maryland. By the late 1980’s both daughters were married and living in California and with precarious times once again hitting the housing market Norman and Mary decided to sell their home and return to California. Josh was still in school at the University of Maryland but he too elected to return to California. Norman and Mary decided to come to Fresno and buy and remodel homes as they had been doing for the past few years in Maryland. Mary got a job with Barbara McMullen, a very successful branch manager for Home Interiors and Gifts, as her executive secretary. After a couple of years Mary and Norman and Barbara, and her husband Eldon became and remained close social friends. The housing market in Fresno dried up in 1991 and Norman got into the home repair business and continued with that until he retired in 2005. Mary went to work for Karen Alexander, who took Barbara McMullen's position with Home Interiors and Gifts when Barbara Retired. Mary continued with Karen until she was forced to retire because she had developed Alzheimer’s disease in 2002. After Mary’s retirement in 2002 she went very quickly from “early Alzheimer’s” to “late Alzheimer’s” and Norman had to put her in a home in April of 2003. Mary died in that home in August of 2004. Barbara McMullen’s husband, Eldon, had died of colon cancer in 2000. After Mary’s death Norman and Barbara looked at one another one evening on a social occasion and realized that there was much more there than they had ever realized before. Soon they were dating and then there were wedding plans. They were married in 2005. For other aspects of Norman’s life that include his writing, teaching, cooking, magic and soaring (flying gliders) you may click on the appropriate boxes above. Back Row: Ramona Lambert, Kent Lambert, Norma MacLeod, James Macleod, Gretchen Kryss: Front Row, Mark Walters, Gretchen Walters, Barbara McMullen, Norman Lambert, Hannah Walters, Caitlin Kryss.

Back Row: Ramona Lambert, Kent Lambert, Norma MacLeod, James Macleod, Gretchen Kryss: Front Row, Mark Walters, Gretchen Walters, Barbara McMullen, Norman Lambert, Hannah Walters, Caitlin Kryss.