In Memory

Nancy Lamar

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06/03/15 07:44 PM #1    

Robert Ambrite

Nancy Lamar lived across the street from me on Bonita Avenue. It saddens me that no one has left a rememberance of her --- so I would like to share some of my thoughts, memories and recollections of this quiet, pretty, creative, shy blond girl who, after her glory days at Wayne Elementary & Denby High, encountered a life with little joy and much hardship, heartache and pain.

In the fifties and early sixties Bonita was an "All American" dream street to be brought up on. Boys and girls of all agess played tag, statues and hide & seek on the green manicured lawns of the small, but beautiful, red brick colonial homes that contained a working dad, a stay at home mom and 2.5 bright, smiling, well adjusted children. On the street itself touch football, curb-baseball and even tennis-ball hockey were the games of choice. And, as the magnificent fifty foot high Dutch Elm trees that lined the avenue sheltered all of the children from the heat of the August sun or the downpour of rain on a fresh spring day --- so our parents, our grandparents, our schools, our teachers and our coaches protected and endeavoured to shelter all of us from the fear, the corruption and the darker side of the real world.

In the autumn of 1964 a devastating sickness began to strangle Detroit and change its entire topography. By the summer of 1965 -- the year Nancy and all of us graduated from High School -- Dutch Elm disease had stripped the Eastside of Detroit of over ten thousand statuesque, life giving, protective trees. Our streets began to look ugly and took on a foreboding, empty atmosphere. the same time....all of the 1965 graduates of Denby High School, free from the rigors of daily study, sports and extracurricular activities, were now exposed to the real world and found out quickly that life was not how the Cleaver's protrayed it on television.

Following her hopes and dreams, Nancy married early and at the young age of nineteen had her first child. With Nancy and her husband both having day time jobs, a baby at home and attending a community college in the evenings to attain a degree, they soon tired of the grind and like many of us during this period turned to what we all thought was the exciting, free lifestyle of drugs, sex, booze and rock n' roll. Although these crutches may have temporally eased and numbed the pain of Vietnam, Bobby Kennedy's assassination, the 68' riots, Martin Luther King's death and the worry of how to pay the rent and put food on the table ---- In the long run it resulted in a life of frustration, addiction and pain. Two additional marriages and two children later, Nancy finally settled into the artistic life she had always really desired. She pursued painting and crocheting with a passion. She spent quality time with her children and her third husband. She tasted the joy that life has to offer.  Nancy's brother, Dan Lamar, tells me she was finally content.  Regretfully, however, the destruction to her body from her previous lifestyle had already caused too much damage. Shy, pretty, blond blue eyed Nancy Lamar passed away in 1999.     Nancy's life was meaningful .... her friendsip meant something to me.  May she rest in peace.

Robert Ambrite / Dallas, Texas / 3 June 2015


06/04/15 07:10 AM #2    

Patricia Reid (Walgenbach)

Very well written Robert and I agree with every word you wrote.  I did not know Nancy and so true with huge high schools like ours, we don't get to know everyone we went to school with.  I too was shy during those years and wish I could do them again with the knowledge I have gained since then.  I will remember Nancy in my prayers.  Thanks for the kind words.


Pat Reid Walgenbach

Shelby Twp., MI


06/04/15 10:02 AM #3    

Nancy Gould (Gomoll)

Bob - Thank you so very much for sharing your memories of Nancy.  You wrote it in such a beautiful and caring way, right from your heart.  Nancy would be proud to know she is remembered with such tenderness.

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