Cover photo for Roger  O. Lambson's Obituary
Roger  O. Lambson Profile Photo

Roger O. Lambson

February 5, 1939 — December 1, 2021

Roger O. Lambson, 82, died at home in Shawnee, Kansas on December 1 after a three-year battle with cancer. He is at rest after a lifetime of service in his professional life, his many retirement projects and activities, and his devotion to his family and friends.

Roger was born in Provo, Utah in 1939, the eldest of the children of Owen Lambson and Bethe Loveridge. He grew up in Springville, Utah where he learned from Owen and Bethe the value of work and doing a job well. The family moved to Missoula, Montana when Roger was fourteen. He completed high school in Missoula and graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in zoology. He then moved to New Orleans for graduate study in anatomy at Tulane University and received his PhD in 1965. He and his wife Theodora Niemeyer later moved to Lexington, Kentucky with their three children where Roger pursued a career at the University of Kentucky as a professor of anatomy and academic administrator in the School of Medicine. He came to Kansas City in 1984 to accept a position as Vice Chancellor of Administration at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Among other duties, Roger was very proud of his work during the construction of a new School of Nursing facility. He received the School of Nursing Honorary Alumnus award in 2001 in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the School, and he never failed to tell his health care providers that he was an honorary nurse! He retired from KU in 1999.

During his retirement years, Roger worked tirelessly in various volunteer activities. He believed that giving back to the community was the obligation of those who had time and talent. He served in various positions for United Way of Wyandotte County, including as Board chair. He was an instructor in the United Way's YouthBuild program where he taught young men and women construction skills. He helped construct houses for Kaw Valley Habitat for Humanity. He was Steering Committee Chair of the Metropolitan Alliance for Adult Learning. He served on the advisory boards of the Kansas Cancer Institute and the Landon Center on Aging. He served for many years on the School of Nursing Advisory Council. He served on the Board of Directors of Turner House Children's Clinic (now Vibrant Health) and was acting director of the Clinic for a period of time. In 2006 he began participating in the Kansas State Extension Master Food Volunteer program in Johnson County. He enjoyed teaching classes in food preparation and he developed the program's class on artisan bread making.

Roger always found time to use his skills helping friends and family. He could often be found in his workshop building furniture, turning wood, making bird feeders as well as lots of sawdust. He completed many stained glass pieces, especially variations of sunflowers and complicated quilt patterns. He often delivered the fruits of his baking projects to neighbors, and his English muffins were spectacular. Roger was always happy to take on the role of master of ceremonies at any gathering. He had a knack for making people feel welcome and included. He was always ready with a toast that would turn an ordinary meal into a special occasion.

Above all, Roger was devoted to his family and his friends. He was always ready with a smile and a hug. He lamented the inability to be with others during his cancer treatment and Covid restrictions. But he was always ready to don a mask and chat six feet away!

Roger was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Robin. He is survived by his wife, Victoria Thomas, whom he married in 1994; his children Scott (Naviya), Michelle (Art), and William; his stepsons Christopher (Cindi) and Scott; and his five grandchildren Ben, Linde, Perry, Claire and Zoe. He is also survived by his brother Boyd (Wendy) and his sister Linda (Malcolm).

Memorial services will be announced at a later time. The Amos Family Funeral Home in Shawnee, KS is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Roger may make a contribution to the University of Kansas School of Nursing, the University of Montana Foundation, Audubon of Kansas, or to a charity of their choice.
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