Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do. It is with a sad heart that I share that a dear friend, Larry Lambert, the longest-tenured member of District 25, passed away on April 27, 2017. Larry was a member for over 60 years in the oldest club in District 25, Wichita Falls Club 305.
Larry joined Toastmasters in October of 1956, just 11 years after the creation of our district. Information about the memorial service to be held on Wednesday, May 3 is here.
His fellow members of Wichita Falls Club 305 will miss him dearly as shown in this special poem by one whom he especially helped:
Larry was a good friend to me
He was there when I started you see
Speaking in front of others would make me cry
He took the time to stop and ask me why
Others have always made fun of the way I talk
That’s ok – they laugh at me for the way I walk
He would smile and pat me on the back whenever he walked by
He would tell me – you’re doing better and better – always try
The club turned 70 and we asked if he was the one to begin
Club 305 you see was almost as old as him
He would grin and then shake his head
I’m not THAT old was what he always said
He made me laugh and he made me smile
I will miss him, as will the others, for he had his own style
I made it all the way to DTM
And it all started with a pat on the back from him
Denise Gough – DTM
Wichita Falls Club 305
I never saw Larry without a broad smile on his face. He cared more about others and their Toastmasters Journey than he cared about his own. I had the pleasure of witnessing first hand on a number of occasions the love Larry had for Toastmasters and for his fellow club members.
Last August at International Convention I asked our International President Mike Storkey to sign a journal for Larry to commemorate his 60 years in Toastmasters. He remarked how wonderful it was that District 25 had such a loyal and devoted member and gladly signed the journal with a special note to Larry.
Several past district leaders knew Larry and had the following to say about him:
David Martin, Past District Governor 2010-2011:Larry was the epitome of a great Toastmaster. During my tenure as a District officer I visited Wichita Falls numerous times and I could always count on Larry being there, he was a staple! He always made me feel so welcomed, with a big smile on his face and a genuine handshake. He was a passionate cheerleader for Toastmasters and his fellow members. Larry was a great storyteller, and you could always count on him for an incredible speech (story). I will always have fond memories of this great man and Toastmaster! Larry will be greatly missed by all.
Diana Patton, Past District Governor 2011-2012:To me Larry was the heart of Wichita Falls Club 305. He was so gracious to me when I first visited Wichita Falls Club when I was Division Governor. He is one of those people that you will never forget. His club, our District and his community will miss him deeply.
Bonne Stroman, Past District Governor 2012-2013:The most remarkable thing about Larry was that he kept participating in District events right up till the end! We rarely had a District Conference that Larry was not on hand, and he competed in contests until recently. Always cheerful and kind, always mentoring and encouraging others, Larry was everything a Toastmaster should be.
My own memories of Larry date back to 2009 when I was Area Governor and made my first trip to Wichita Falls. The first time saw Larry I thought “What a delightful smile and manner he has.” My opinion never changed but rather was reinforced over and over again. Larry Lambert’s legacy will live on!
Immediate Past District Director