John Francis Lambert, 82, of South Amboy, died peacefully on Wednesday February 24, 2021 at St. Joseph’s Senior Home in Woodbridge with his two daughters by his side.
John was born in Jersey City, the younger of two, and was often called Jack. He grew up alongside his older sister Maureen, raised by their mother Mary “Adele” after their father John “Teddy” died when the younger John was just 10 months old. John had much respect for the strong women in his life, and this admiration began with his sister and mother.
John’s post-secondary educational journey began at Jersey City State and ended three decades later at Kean University with a well-earned and coveted Bachelor's degree. At Jersey City State, he began a lifelong friendship with Wayne Jordan, who went on to marry John’s sister Maureen.
John served in the United States Army and worked, among other things, as a medical corpsman. He was stationed stateside from Kearny, NJ to Fort Carson, Colorado, and finished his service during peacetime, shortly before Vietnam.
John continued his education at Rutgers and Seton Hall, taking night classes while he began a career with the federal government. It was during this time he happened upon Madge Mellett at a mutual friend’s ski house, and John’s life changed forever.
John married Madge, and earned instant companionship with her siblings, especially her three sisters and their spouses. During his 35 year tenure with the United States Customs Service, John worked as a supervisory inspector. He was a member of the U.S. Customs Emerald Society, the National Treasury Employees Union, the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, and NJ PBA Local 324.
John and Madge settled in Roselle Park where they raised their daughters Mary and Caraline amidst block parties and family gatherings. John enjoyed the company of family, and his role as beloved uncle was one that he cherished. He was as proud of all his nieces and nephews as he was his daughters.
John and his family said goodbye to Madge when she died in 1997. John found new life in South Amboy, a town he loved well. John was a member of the American Legion Post 62 in Perth Amboy, a former member of the Posts in South Amboy and Roselle Park, a lifetime member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in South Amboy, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in Union, and the Knights of Columbus in Linden, Elizabeth, South Amboy, and Sayreville.
Throughout his life, John never strayed from the high regard he placed on education. He spoke often about how his mother stressed the importance of it, and he spoke admiringly about his sister’s vocational pursuits as well as his wife’s practical and spiritual wisdom. He lived a life surrounded by women, and he was in awe of them.
But John served as an inspiration in his own right. His love of the written word and his own abilities as a wordsmith, his enthusiasm for learning, his easy wit and propensity to make people laugh, and even his decades-long dedication to Jeopardy all helped steer his daughters towards careers in education.
Son of the late John “Teddy” and Mary “Adele” Lambert (nee Driscoll), John is also predeceased by his wife Margaret “Madge” Lambert (nee Mellett) and his sister Maureen Jordan. John is survived by his daughters Mary Schmidt and her husband Mark of North Brunswick; and Caraline Koellhoffer and her husband Paul of Westfield; his grandchildren Maggie, Sean, Bridget, Ryan, and Madelyn as well as many cousins, in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Interment in St. Gertrude Cemetery, Colonia will be private under the direction of The Gundrum Service “Home for Funerals,” 237 Bordentown Avenue, South Amboy. A celebration of John’s life will be held at a later date.
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