Robert Gordon Lampe

Robert Gordon Lampe

  • Funeral Date: 7/17/15
  • Funeral Time: 4:00 p.m.
  • Date of Birth: 9/06/23
  • Date of Death: 5/02/15
  • Funeral Location: VFW, Northfield

Robert Gordon (“Bob”) Lampe, born September 6, 1923, to Edward and Esther Lampe at their home in Winona, Minn., passed away peacefully on May 2, 2015. Bob was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years Patricia “Pat” Lampe and his brother Elmer. He is survived by his sons Tom Lampe (Karen), Rob Lampe (Lynne), Paul Lampe (Johanna) and John Lampe (Nikki Newman) and grandchildren Kyle Lampe (Rachel), Jess Lampe, Chad Lampe and Naomi Dickerson. He is also survived by his sisters Lorraine Bowman and Diane Seaton, sisters-in-law Barbara Barnes (Richard) and Margaret Sperry.

Bob resided in Minnesota his entire life. As an 8-year-old he delivered newspapers for $2 a week. That income allowed that young boy to, in his words, “live like a king.” He helped tend the family’s large garden, and Bob said that even during the depths of the Depression “they always ate good.” At the age of 10, Bob went to the Boy Scout Jamboree in Washington, D.C. They slept in canvas teepees that they built, camped along the Potomac River and heard President Roosevelt speak.

A chance meeting with the right person during a temporary delivery job after high school graduation charted the course for Bob’s college education at Macalester. Bob worked at the President of Macalester’s house and grounds while he attended classes.

World War II interrupted college. In his second year at Macalester Bob joined the Navy ROTC but was discharged when they learned he was color blind. Bob joined the Army and spent 9 months in specialized training at the University of San Francisco. As part of the 75th Infantry Division “Wireheads,” the communication core, Bob survived the Battle of the Bulge. He was later wounded by mortar shrapnel and returned to the States. Bob was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Back at Macalester in 1946, Bob met his future wife, Patricia Ann Toole. One of her roommates was serving mooseburgers in the kitchen, Bob was invited, the two met and the rest is history. They were married in St. Paul, Minn., on February 4, 1950. Bob began night classes at St. Paul College of Law even before he graduated from Macalester. He joined Burt Sawyer, attorney-at-law in Northfield, and practiced law for 50 years as a member of what is now the Lampe Law Firm, one of the longest continuously operating law firms in the state. He was an “old school” small-town lawyer, a zealous advocate for clients and respectful to all.

Bob was a gifted athlete. He played quarterback for the Chatfield High School team. Later, while in the service, he played basketball at the University of San Francisco, playing with future professional players. He skied until the year 2000, when he decided that would be a good time to ceremoniously “hang up the skis” after his last run on their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Winter Park, Colo. Bob enjoyed the simple things in life: spending weekends with family and friends at the lake house, family vacations, morning coffee with friends and associates, tending his gardens, playing bridge, fishing, hunting, hosting sourdough waffle breakfasts or bbq dinners that always ended with ice cream and telling war stories. Grateful for the gifts he was given, Bob was extraordinarily generous in paying forward those gifts.

The family acknowledges with grateful hearts the care Bob received at The Lydia House in Roseville and in his home on Bunday Court. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held Friday, July 17, 2015, at 4 p.m. at the VFW (516 Division St.) in Northfield.

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