Robin D. Lambert

Obituary
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  • "To Robin's Family: Robin amplified so many important..."
    - Tony Payne
  • "My Dear Friend Jodi: I can't begin to express how much I..."
    - Michelle Richards
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    - Barbara Grant
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    - April Sookma
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    - Kevin Rubenstein
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Robin D. Lambert, 56
     PORTLAND -- Robin Lambert has died at home at the age of 56 after a long and hard-fought battle with AIDS.
     He will be remembered as a doting father, a leading gay activist, and a witty and warm-hearted friend.
     Robin was born in Houlton, the son of Don P. Lambert and Lucille (Delosier) Lambert. He graduated from Hall-Dale High School, and in 1974 earned an undergraduate degree in political science at the University of Maine at Orono.
     While at Orono, he became active in Republican Party politics which became an enduring passion and advocation. After graduation, he worked for a while in the Senate majority office when it was under Republican control. Later, he was twice the valiant, though unsuccessful Republican candidate for Portland's Senate District 8 ( then a notoriously Democratic stronghold). He was a proud supporter and friend of Senator Olympia Snowe, Senator William Cohen, and Senator Susan Collins.
     In 1981, he began working for Bicknell Photo Services in Scarborough. Over time he became Vice President of human resources and a part owner of the company. In 1988, Bicknell was sold to Konica USA. He continued as Vice President of Human Resources for Konica Quality Photo East where he oversaw, wrote and administered employee personnel policies. He was active on behalf of Konica in many business and community organizations. In the early 90s, he was President of the Human Resources Association of the Maine Chamber and Business Alliance. He was also a member of the National Association of Manufacturers and represented Konica at meetings until he retired from his position in 1996, due to illness.
     In 1983, following the murder of gay man Charlie Howard, Robin, along with other leaders of the gay movement, founded the Maine Lesbian Gay Political Association (MLGPA) to fight for civil rights and equal protection under the law for gay people. For many years Robin publicly appeared to be the lone Republican supporter of LGBT Civil Rights. Undaunted, over time he was able to persuade many in his party to join him in pressing for equal rights for all. For many years he served on the MLGPA (now Equality Maine) Board and was twice recognized by them for his outstanding work for civil rights.
     Robin Lambert was an early advocate for addressing the complicated and important issues that surrounded the human immunodeficiency infection (HIV) as it began to impact Maine. As an openly gay man with many friends who were at risk for the infection and also as a director of Human Resources at Konica, he recognized immediately the deadly potential of the virus to affect all Maine people.
     He was a founding member of the AIDS project (TAP) in Portland, which was established in the early 80s to provide information and support to people who wanted to avoid becoming infected and to those who feared that they might already be infected. TAP was one of the first community responses to HIV infection in Maine. As a result of his early advocacy and hard work,
    Robin D. Lambert
    Jones, Rich & Hutchins
    Funeral Home & Cremation Service
    775-3763
    Mr. Lambert was appointed to Governor McKernan's AIDS Advisory Committee in 1987 and served on that committee for a number of years.
     Robin Lambert, a devoted friend and ally of Frannie Peabody, was a long time board member and volunteer at the Peabody House, in Portland, an organization which gives comprehensive assistance to people living with HIV / AIDS.
     He will be remembered for his great courage and determination in battling HIV infection, not only for himself but for the world around him. He was passionate and enthusiastic about all his causes which ranged from civil rights to health care to medical marijuana to politics to art.
    His energy and tireless work for the causes he supported was legendary. He gave generously of all of his resources, his energies and his creativity. A compulsive reader of the NYT and local newspapers, his take on the news of the day was invariably informed, scathing, and delicious.
     He loved his family, his friends and Maine itself. For many summers he rented a house on Monhegan Island where he brought his family and friends for glorious days of hikes and boating and evenings of lobster dinners and games in that spectacular setting. How he will be missed!
     Robin's greatest joy in life was his daughter Jodi who recently delighted her father by marrying Lawrence Meader, a man he much admired. Together they gave him the perfect grandchild, Lilli.
     He is survived by his parents Don and Lucille Lambert of Farmingdale; brothers, Allen Lambert of Limestone, Jon Lambert of Farmingdale, Tim Lambert of Cross Lake; sister, Dawn Real and special nephew Tucker Real of Farmingdale; daughter Jodi Meader, her husband Lawrence Meader; and granddaughter Lillian Meader of Farmingdale; his recently discovered son, Lee Green Jr.; also, his former wife and good friend Joline Rees of Augusta; and his trusted dog friend Harley. His partner Harley Hamilton, as well as many dear and beloved friends, predeceased him.
     Robin's family would like to extend thanks and gratitude to Dr. Robert Smith for caring for Robin with much compassion and giving us extra time with him, and Lani Graham and Rudy Narvaez, his beloved friends, who gave him dedicated, enduring support over the years.
     Visiting hours will be on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 7-9 p.m., at Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford Street, Portland. A celebration of his life will be held on Friday morning, Nov. 3, details will be published on Wednesday.
    
    In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions either:
    The Peabody House
     335 Valley St.
     Portland, Maine 04102
     or Equality Maine
     P. O. Box 1951
     Portland, Maine 04104

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Oct. 31, 2006
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