Robert Roland “Bob” Lamp was born on May 30, 1921, in Akron, Ohio and gained his wings on Feb. 16, 2020, in Dublin, Virginia.
Bob was the second son born to Alonzo “Lonnie” and Florence Lamp. He graduated from North High School in Akron, Ohio, in 1940. Bob was a lover of God and was a lifelong, devoted Methodist.
He is survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren and dozens of friends, whom he considered his family. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 55 years, Betty (1924-2008), three sons, Lonnie, Larry and David; and two stepsons, Gary and Terry.
Bob grew up in The Great Depression, and his family, like most, during that time, struggled to make ends meet. Many of his kinfolk moved into his childhood home, and they sustained themselves from crops they planted and gardens they grew.
Bob’s grandfather was a carpenter, and Bob learned how to use tools. He used his skills to craft and create beautiful works of art for friends, family and sometimes to make an extra dollar. In fact, Bob’s first bicycle was one he built from parts he collected. He rode that bike all through high school. During his school years, he and his brother, Don, had a three-mile walk one way and sometimes, it was in the snow.
Pearl Harbor came on December 7, 1941 and on January 8, 1942, Bob enlisted in the Air Corps and was sent to Keesler Field in Biloxi, Miss., where he became an electrical specialist with the rank of sergeant. He spent three years there, teaching B-24 Bomber electrical systems. Subsequently, he was transferred to Greenville Air Base in North Carolina and then to Camp Kearns, Utah, and finally ended up at Eglin Field in Florida, where he stayed until he was honorably discharged. Additionally, Bob served as a first lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol for three years.
While in Biloxi, Bob married Eva McCutcheon, and this is where Bob’s first son, Lonnie, was born. Eva was from Parkersburg, West Virginia, and after Bob’s service ended, they settled in her hometown. Eva and Bob had two more sons, Larry and David. Eva and Bob divorced in 1950, and Bob was awarded full custody of all three boys. In 1953, Bob married Elizabeth “Betty” Thomas, the love of his life. Betty had two sons, Terry and Gary, and together, Bob and Betty raised five boys.
Bob went to work for Corning Glass on Jan. 8, 1947, as an inspector and retired from their Blacksburg plant as a Quality Assurance Supervisor in 1983. During his 38-year tenure with Corning, Bob was blessed to have gotten to travel to every state except Oregon. Bob and Betty absolutely loved traveling and always had grand stories to share from their excursions. They loved Germany and Switzerland, and this is where Betty developed a deep affection and passion for collecting Hummel figurines. Bob loved searching out these figurines Betty so treasured and surprising her with them.
Although Bob was never a boy scout as a youth, he was awarded the Scouter’s Key, which is the second highest honor awarded to adult volunteers, and in 1956, Betty and he joined the United Commercial Travelers “UCT” fraternal benefit society, where Bob held a number of different positions. It was at UCT that Bob and Betty developed some of their most meaningful friendships and had some of their best times.
Bob had an immense passion for life, experiences and people and possessed an incredible outlook. He loved to try new things and had an affection for experimenting with new recipes, cooking, and canning vegetables. He loved rebuilding cars, woodworking, refinishing golf clubs, fiddles, banjos and fishing. Bob loved bluegrass music and adored The Statler Brothers’ music. Bob and Betty loved card games, and especially enjoyed playing Euchre. Bob’s faith carried him throughout life, especially after surviving the loss of his wife and the passing all of his children over the years.
Bob was always quick to share that he had no regrets and no enemies. His philosophy was “Life is a journey and the end will be good, if you believe in God.”
Bob will be dearly missed by his friends and family as he has left an indelible mark on their lives.
John 11:25-26: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though you die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’”
Graveside services with full military honors will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Mar. 2, 2020, at the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin.
The Lamp family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford.