Obituary: John “Jack” Lamer, 1950-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: John “Jack” Lamer, 1950-2024 

Montgomery man spent 34 years at his dream job and loved being in any body of water

Published February 5, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.

click to enlarge John "Jack" Lamer - COURTESY
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  • John "Jack" Lamer

John “Jack” Lamer passed on Thursday, January 25, 2024, after a years long fight with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Camilla Lamer; and his daughters and their spouses, Sharyn Lamer and Matthias Siebler of Somerville, Mass., and Lulu McClendon and Zak McClendon of San Francisco, Calif. In addition, he is survived by his grandchildren, Pete Siebler, Anna Siebler, Hazel McClendon and Eithne McClendon.

Jack also leaves his siblings James Lamer (Mary), Christopher Lamer, Mary Lou Wentworth (Jim) and Anastasia Lamer (Bob Coleman). He is predeceased by his parents, Louis and Betty Lamer, and his brother Louis Lamer.

Jack was born in Los Angeles on June 26, 1950. He lived in California for only a year, after which the family moved to Marietta, Ga., for his father’s work. He graduated from Marietta High School in 1968 and furthered his education at Kennesaw Junior College and the University of Georgia, graduating with a bachelor of science in pharmacy in 1973.

On September 2, 1972, Jack and Camilla were married at St. James Episcopal Church in Marietta. After his graduation, they moved to western Massachusetts to work at a summer camp. On his days off, he searched for a pharmacy internship. Striking out in Massachusetts, on his last day in New England, he searched in Vermont from Bennington to Burlington. He ended up in Burlington, driving down Main Street in the late afternoon to the spectacular view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. He ended his search at Terminal Pharmacy, shortly before closing. When he announced that he was looking for a pharmacy internship, the owner, Melvin “Pug” Maurice, came bounding out of the dispensary and said, “Where the hell have you been? I’ve been looking for an intern all summer.” Thus, Jack and Camilla moved to Vermont.

After 14 months in retail pharmacy, Jack found the dream job he didn’t know he dreamed of. Al Buckpitt took a chance and hired “a hippie” to work in process research and development at Ayerst Laboratories in Rouses Point, N.Y. Jack retired in 2010 as associate director of technical services, leaving a job that he had loved for 34 years.

Throughout his life, Jack was a water baby, whether in the backyard pool, swim team, rivers or oceans. Bodysurfing was his favorite. He could catch waves all day, riding them to the shore. He enjoyed climbing rocks up streams and jumping off high places into cold water. This activity once led to a law enforcement interaction for obstruction of navigation for jumping off a 70-foot railroad trestle into Lake Allatoona in Georgia.

In retirement, Jack and Camilla enjoyed traveling. Their final trip, a three-week adventure in Mexico, was their most adventurous: driving round-trip from Mexico City to Oaxaca City and to Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast, spending enough time in each place to come to love it and swearing to come back.

Unfortunately, Jack developed bile duct cancer in 2020. He endured surgery, rounds of chemo and Y90 treatments. Jack told his oncologist during his last hospital stay, “When we started this, you said you had a bag of tricks. I think that there’s nothing left in the bag but a stale Chiclet.” The doctor agreed. He passed 10 days later.

The family wishes to thank Hope Lodge in Burlington and the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either of these, both of which serve cancer patients and their caregivers admirably.

Goss-Spear Life Celebration Home provided arrangements.

The family will have a celebration of Jack’s life in the summer. Condolences, photos and favorite memories may be shared through gossfs.com.

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