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Posted on Tue. Jul. 22, 2014 - 12:30 am EDT

Local anti-war activist dies at 79

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When he wasn’t organizing a protest, speaking at a peace rally, or poring over magazines and books and bringing himself up to date on all the happenings in the world – especially when it came to war – Dave Lambert loved jazz and a good joke.

He loved the outdoors, his wife and he loved his two kids.

And he raised them to know that it was OK to do what he had become passionate about for so many years – which just so happened to be questioning authority.

Unless, of course, it was his own.

“He expected us to do what we were told as long as it was him telling us,” said his son, Bill Lambert, while laughing Monday.

“He was a great dad,” Bill added.

Lambert, a fixture at protests and peace rallies in Fort Wayne and elsewhere for years, passed away Sunday.

His family was by his side, his son said.

Lambert was 79.

While he battled some health issues recently, he never slowed down, Bill Lambert said, and he was still attending rallies nearly every Saturday.

A recent clip posted on YouTube shows Lambert standing before a microphone on June 22, the Allen County Courthouse in the background.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting damn sick and tired of having to protest war,” he tells the crowd in the video.

A Korean War veteran, Lambert was a state organizer for Veterans for Peace, a member of Military Families Speak Out and an organizer for Fort Wayne Peace Action.

He volunteered as a producer for Access TV and produced over 200 Fort Wayne Peace Action shows.

Still, as passionate as he was about speaking out and questioning authority, he could be friends with people of all political affiliations and beliefs.

He grew up the liberal child in a conservative family and rarely saw eye-to-eye with his brother, his son said.

Still, beliefs didn’t matter when you were a friend of Bill’s.

“One thing my dad was able to do was get along with people,” Bill Lambert said. “Even if he vigorously disagreed with them, he got along with them.”

“He even made lifelong friends with them,” Bill continued. “And once Dad became your friend, he’d never let you go.”

Lambert read voraciously, his son said, and every page of the magazines that came into his possession would inevitably be wrinkled nearly beyond readability.

He got his information from all sorts of media – Bill Lambert said his father liked Al-Jazeera and progressive outlets – though he was generally outspoken against the mainstream media.

Through it all, though, Lambert always questioned authority.

A story about how passionate he took that role:

As the Vietnam War ended, Lambert wanted his son to refuse registering for the Selective Service.

Bill, though, wanted to go to college. To do so, he needed what was called a basic education grant.

One of the requirements for that grant was for Bill to register for the Selective Service.

And so he did.

“He was really upset when he found out,” Bill said. “He really wanted me to resist.”

Dave Lambert spent a life resisting.

Whether it was what the government or media told him was true or the wars he saw his grandkids go off to fight.

He resisted.

Then he rallied everyone together.

And while he may have said he was sick and tired of protesting war, he never got sick and tired of bringing people together for the cause.

jeffwiehe@jg.net


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