Southern loses friend, fixture

Southern loses friend, fixture

Southern loses friend, fixture

He taught students who have become teachers at both the high school and university level and, though he retired from the English department in 1999, he left a department that remembers him well, and hopes to “honor him through continuing his work.”

71-year-old Dr. Joe Lambert died March 20, 2009 following a short illness. In his 29 year career at Missouri Southern, he served as a professor of English, English department head for eight years and a director of the writing program.

Lambert’s wife, Sharon, is glad to know her husband’s influence is still being felt so many years later.

“He would be very pleased with that, He loved his students and he loved teaching,” she said. “He would be terribly pleased to know that his students remember him.

“I think Southern always stayed with him, he had a long history, 29 or 30 years depending on how you count it, that’s a long career in one place and it was near and dear to his heart. He spoke of it often.”

Raised on a farm, Lambert moved with his family to a farm in Seneca in 1985 where they could raise their horses.

As a family, they enjoyed horse camping, an activity Sharon says she will continue. While Lambert enjoyed “getting back to the earth,” his wife said his first love was poetry.

Throughout his teaching career, Lambert specialized in American literature focusing on poetry and literary criticism.

“His passing has left a big hole in my life,” Sharon said. “I’m really going to miss him, he was a kind and gentle man, and my rock.”

A memorial service for friends will be held tomorrow.