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L. William Lampkin, Sr. Obituary


Memories & Candles

“Mrs. Lampkin and family you have my deepest sympathy. I feel very special to have known Bill. He will be missed deeply. ”
1 of 9 | Posted by: Bill Yokley - Decatur, IL

“Dear Mrs. Lampkin, Sheila, Bill, Martha, Patti, John and Tom: I am so very sorry to hear of Mr. Lampkin's death. Please know that I have been...Read More »
2 of 9 | Posted by: Carol McCormack - NY

“Pat...your family is in our thoughts and prayers...the staff in University Career Services ”
3 of 9 | Posted by: Jim McBride - Charlottesville, VA

“Dear Mrs. Lampkin and Family, I am remembering Mr. Lampkin with fondness. I have many happy memories of time spent with your wonderful family. Mr...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Joanne Strathearn - St. Louis, MO

“Tom, my thoughts are with you and your family right now - I am sorry to hear about your loss ”
5 of 9 | Posted by: Brendan

“Be encouraged, Pat and Wayne, and the rest of the family. Please accept our kindest thoughts as you mourn the passing of a most beloved father. ...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Maurice and Cheryl Apprey - VA

“Sheila & Family, My deepest sympathies for your loss. I'll keep you in my prayers. Mary - STHS '66 ”
7 of 9 | Posted by: Mary (Chalmers) Leiweke - Herrin, IL

“Dear Pat, Wayne and the entire Lampkin family: Our deepest sympathies on the loss of your Dad. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this...Read More »
8 of 9 | Posted by: Lucy (Pritz) and Jim Pirages and Family - IL

“Dear Martha, We were so sorry to hear about your Father. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Know that the Lord is near you at...Read More »
9 of 9 | Posted by: Mary Lou Walker - O'Fallon, IL


L. William Lampkin, Sr. August 16, 1920 – July 22, 2009 Bill Lampkin, Sr. of Decatur died on July 22nd, after a brief illness. Born August 16, 1920 to Cline and Loretta (McMahon) Lampkin, he was a lifelong Decatur resident, with the exception of his service in the Coast Guard during World War II. A talented athlete in his youth, he was lauded as a football and tennis star at Stephen Decatur High School. Not long after high school graduation, he enlisted in the Coast Guard and served on the S S Cobb along the southeast coast and Carribean. Bill served as a signalman, sending Morse code messages to oncoming ships. His intelligence and athleticism allowed him to transmit complex messages with flags and physical movements long before satellite transmission allowed for telephonic or computer communication between American ships. After the war, he met and married Mary Estelle Hayes ("Emmy"), daughter of Dr. John Maurice Hayes and Helen Hogan Hayes. Bill and Emmy celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in August 2008. The bulk of Bill's professional career was with the Herff Jones Company, an Indianapolis-based firm that specialized in college and high school class rings and awards. His territory comprised most of Illinois and he excelled as a salesman and received numerous sales awards during his time with Herff Jones. The profession that he truly loved, however, was as a retail man selling clothes in downtown Decatur. While still in high school, he was employed at Blakeney and Plum, and after his career with Herff Jones, he was a well-known fixture in downtown Decatur, working at Raggs on Merchant Street. A friendly and engaging man, Bill knew almost everyone who worked downtown, from bank CEO's to busboys at lunch counters. He would always share his opinions or give advice, and delighted in discussing current affairs, whether at a city, state, or national level. Bill was also a generous and public-spirited man. He was a life-long parishioner of St. Patrick's Catholic Church where he was an usher for over forty years. He could be seen selling Christmas trees in the freezing cold for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, or distributing toys to families who needed support. It was also well known that if you lived in Bill's neighborhood you were very lucky. Bill had a habit of getting up before dawn to plow the snow in nearby neighbors' driveways. His lucky neighbors woke up to drivable driveways even before they realized there had been a snowstorm. Bill prized education and loved discovery. His children remember him waking them from slumber in the 1960's to watch live television reports of daring flights into space by American astronauts. He instilled in his children a love of learning and was very proud of the number of undergrad, graduate, and doctoral degrees that his six children achieved. Bill was a member of the Decatur Club, American Legion Post 105, the Confraternity of St. George, and formerly served on the St. Teresa High School Advisory Board. Bill Lampkin is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years, Emmy, their children: Sheila from Ballwin, MO, Bill, Jr. from Evanston, IL, Martha and her husband John Welborne from Los Angeles, CA, Patti and her husband Wayne Cozart from Charlottesville, VA, John and his wife Lisa (Carmean) from St. Peters, MO, and Tom from Raleigh, NC. Their grandchildren are: Colleen and Hayes Cozart, Kathleen, Shannon, Michael and Daniel Lampkin. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Col. Cline J. Lampkin. Visitation will be at Moran & Goebel Funeral Home, located at 2801 North Monroe Street, on Friday, July 24th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, with a prayer service starting at 4:30 p.m. The funeral service will be on Saturday, July 25th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Patrick's Catholic Church, St. Teresa High School, or a charity of the donor's choice.

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