Walter Thomas Lamer, 79, of Jerseyville, died at 5:35 a.m. Friday, July 14, 2017, at the Jerseyville Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
He was born on Feb. 6, 1938, and was the youngest, and last surviving of 10 children born to Lawrence Lafayette and Lena “Budgie” Angell Lamer.
He grew up in Cobden and graduated from Cobden High School, where he excelled for the Appleknockers basketball and baseball teams. He then enrolled at Carthage College on a basketball scholarship and earned his bachelor’s degree as well. He then went on to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he finished his forestry degree.
He began working for the State of Illinois through the Department of Natural Resources as a district forester, and retired as a regional forester, overseeing 25 counties throughout the State of Illinois after over 40 years of dedicated service.
His love of nature continued outside his chosen career, and followed him home, where he took great pride in his garden, and planted his first Christmas tree in 1975, and nurtured the soil until he was able to sell his first Christmas tree in 1984. Every year since, the Lamer family has provided many a family with their holiday staple from their home on Hollow Avenue, and have now seen the rewards as the children of their first customers are now returning with their families.
His family said that above all, Mr. Lamer was devoted family man, who took great pride in his family. He was supportive of his children and their endeavors, and rarely missed a sporting event in which his children, and now grandchildren, were participating.
He married the former Judith Klockenkemper on Sept. 27, 1969, at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Batchtown and together they were blessed with five children and nearly 48 years of marriage.
Surviving are his wife, Judith Lamer of Jerseyville; his five children and their spouses, Andrea Lamer Hernandez, and her husband Emilio of Jerseyville, Scott and Jill Lamer of Jerseyville, Sarah and Jeff Wilmotte of Hoffman Estates, Jim and Amber Lamer of Warsaw, and Mary Lamer and her companion, Josh Gooch of San Francisco, Calif.; 10 grandchildren, Sara, Emilio, Sofia, Holly, Sam, Shane, Vanessa, Sabrina, Finn and Gus.
He was preceded in death by his parents; nine siblings, Elaine Rude, Gordon Lamer, George Lamer, Betty Knox, Marilyn Lewis, Loretta Berry, Carolyn Stegle, Jack Lamer and an infant brother, Frederick Lamer; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, John and Dorothy Klockenkemper.
A Mass of Christian Burial took place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 18, at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Jerseyville, with Father Steve Pohlman officiating.
Burial was in the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery in Jerseyville.
Memorials can be given to his grandchildren to assist with their education, and can be given through the funeral home.
Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville was in charge of arrangements.