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Alfred Lamson

Alfred Lamson


Remembering Alfred Lamson

May 17, 2005
1. Obituary
2. Announcement shortly after his death
3. Comments by Julie Falgout, UL Foundation
4. Editorial, May 13,Daily Advertiser
5. Editorial, May 15,Daily Advertiser
6. Article, May 16, Daily Advertiser
7. Ray Goodrich, May 24, 2005
8. Yvette Girouard, August 22, 2005

Posted by Dr. Ed Dugas, long-time friend and fellow Olympic Torch Bearer in May, 1996.
Please email athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu if you would like to add your fond memories to this special page.
Alfred Lamson Obituary - Daily Advertiser

LAFAYETTE - Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 15, 2005, in the Delhomme Chapel of the Flowers for Alfred Lamson, 87, who died at 7:20 a.m. Thursday, May 12, 2005, at his residence.

The Rev. Monsignor Harry Benefield, retired, will conduct the funeral services.

Interment will take place in Fountain Memorial Gardens.

Mr. Lamson was the son of the late Richard Dean Lamson and Dora Kaiser. An independent oil and gas producer, he was a native of Opelousas, La., and a resident of Lafayette, La. since 1937. He attended Illinois Wesleyan University in 1935 - 1936
in Bloomington, Ill., where he met his future wife, Helen Maloney. He and Helen were married in 1938 until her death in 2001. He married the former Betty Ellis in 2002.

Mr. Lamson did secretarial work for his father in 1936 and 1937 at the St. Landry, Avoyelles and Evangeline Farm Loan Associations, which were under the direction of the Federal Land Bank. He started in the oil business in Lafayette in the fall of 1937 as secretary to lease broker R. L. Whitlow, and progressed to full-time lease and royalty buyer until Mr. Whitlow's death in 1940. At that time he went to work for himself as a broker. Mr. Lamson served three years in the Army Air Corps during World War II (1942-45). He entered the drilling and production end of the oil industry after the war, sometimes operating alone, sometimes with one or more partners. He was a partner in Lamson & Bennett, Inc., Emerald Oil Company and Lamson/Onshore Petroleum Corporation, and served as director of Comet Drilling Company, Jack/Wade Drilling Company and Alpine Mud Company. Until the time of his death, he served as Chairman of the Board of Lamson Petroleum Corporation.

While developing, operating and promoting his oil industry enterprises, Mr. Lamson was very active in the great American tradition of service to his community, which was instilled in him by his father. He served the following organizations with pride and distinction: one of the founders and a member of the first Board of Directors (five members), and President of the Lafayette Petroleum Club; Lafayette District Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America; President of Oakbourne Country Club; Commodore of Pelican Yacht Club at False River; Board of Directors for the First National Bank; Board of Directors of Rotary Club; Member of the Lafayette Parish School Board; Founder and permanent Chairman of the Board of the One Hundred Club of Lafayette (an organization designed to give recognition to law enforcement officers in and around Lafayette Parish, and especially to help the families of those wounded or killed in the line of duty); Board of Directors of the UL Foundation; member of the Blue Key of UL (an honorary scholastic fraternity); Alfred successfully chaired a Ten Million Dollar Endowment Fund Drive for academics for the University of Southwestern Louisiana; and established an endowed fund to support The Alfred and Helen Lamson Professorship for Computer Science Research; and also endowed a fund to conduct an annual essay contest which will make a cash award to a member of the Petroleum Land Management class at UL. The person selected is the junior who writes the best essay, "Why I Want To Be A Landman".

Mr. Lamson was an avid supporter of the University of Louisiana and particularly dear to him was the Lady Cajun Softball Program.

Among the many honors bestowed upon Mr. Lamson were the following: a Twenty Thousand Dollar Endowment Fund was established and paid for by the USL Faculty to support a scholarship entitled "Alfred Lamson Scholarship for Academic Excellence". It is given to the incoming freshman that scores the highest on the UL Scholarship Testing Program; The 1983-1984 USL Blue Key Directory was dedicated to Alfred Lamson. He was, prior to that time, made an honorary member of the Blue Key.In tribute to work done by Mr. Lamson in support of the University, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humanities in 1982. This honor had been given to only one other person in the period of 82 years, Ambassador Jefferson Caffery. He was appointed by Governor Edwin W. Edwards in 1984 to be a member of the "Governor's Economic Development Commission" and the "Governor's Learning Advisory Commission". Also, in 1991 he was appointed to the Governor's "Transition Team for Higher Education". He received the 1986 Citizen Award from the American Association of Petroleum Landmen. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 14 in Opelousas, LA and in 1988 was presented the Boy Scout of America's Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, and received its Distinguished Citizen Award. He was the third person to receive the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in the Lafayette area, and the eighth in Louisiana. Mr. Lamson was selected as the 1988 Civic Cup Award winner in Lafayette. He was the honoree at the 2002 Annual UL Spring Gala for his generous support of the University. In 2004, he was inducted into The Times of Acadiana Business Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Outstanding Philanthropist Award for 2004 given by the Planned Giving Council of Acadiana. In 2005, he was inducted into the Order of Living Legends by the Acadiana Heritage and Culture Foundation, Inc.

Survivors include his wife, Betty Ellis; one daughter, Kaye Lamson Crocker and husband, James, of Greenwell Springs; one son, Gary Lamson and wife, Carol, of Lafayette; eight grandchildren, Chris Crocker and wife, Kristin, of Dallas, Texas, Kevin Crocker and wife, Carol, of Dallas, Texas, Kelly Crocker D'Armond and husband, Trey, of Greenwell Springs, Garret Lamson and wife, Tasha, Gerren Lamson and his fiancé, Morgana Ladd, Gannon Lamson and wife, Kayty, Tori Lamson and Tiffany Lamson, all of Lafayette, and nine great-grandchildren, Carson Crocker, Hudson Crocker, Griffin Crocker, Lily Crocker and Harris Crocker, of Dallas, Hunter and Ben D'Armond, of Greenwell Springs, Kaiser and Genevieve Lamson, of Lafayette; one sister, Bess Lamson Triche, of Baytown, Texas; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Helen Maloney Lamson; two brothers, Tyler Lamson and Richard Lamson Jr.; and one sister, Freida Lamson.

Pallbearers will be Chris Crocker, Kevin Crocker, Garret Lamson, Gerren Lamson, Gannon Lamson, Trey D'Armond and Philip Pratt.

Visiting hours will be observed from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. today and will continue from 1 p.m. until time of services Sunday.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Lamson's name may be made to the University of Louisiana Foundation, P. O. Box 44290, Lafayette, LA 70504.

Personal condolences may be sent to the Lamson family at www.delhommefuneralhome.com

Delhomme Funeral Home, 1011 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, (337) 235-9449, is in charge of all funeral arrangements.

Originally published May 14, 2005

LAFAYETTE - Funeral services for Alfred Lamson, 87, who passed away Thursday, May 12, 2005, at Lafayette General Medical Center are scheduled for 3:00 p.m., Sunday, May 15th at Delhomme Chapel, 1011 Bertrand Dr., Lafayette.

Visiting hours are Saturday from 4 - 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Personal condolences to the Lamson family may be left on the family condolences page at www.delhommefuneralhome.com

Delhomme Funeral Home, 1011 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, (337) 235-9449, is in charge of all funeral arrangements.

Originally published May 13, 2005

Comments from Julie Falgout, UL Foundation -
From a personal perspective, Mr. Lamson was one of the first Board member to welcome me to Lafayette and to the University. I'll always remember his genuine optimistic, upbeat personality and his beautiful long gray hair. He really inspired me and made me feel welcome here. He has done so much for so many in our community, I can't imagine Lafayette without him.
He was a true inspiration for us at the UL Foundation, serving on the Board of Trustees since 1980. He was elected to Emeritus status on the Board of Trustees in March 2001. We still continue a little ritual he had started for Board members who forgot their pins at a meeting. Those who forgot, had to pony up a $1 each time to the petty cash fund. The fund accummulated a little over the years, but not much, since no one wanted to forget their pins because Alfred would make sure everyone knew it!
Mr. Lamson always supported UL so generously and in so many ways. He attended many of our functions and personally financially supported young high school students eager to attend UL. He was one of our biggest advocates. He will be dearly missed, but remembered in our hearts forever.

Sincerely, Julie Falgout, Executive Director, UL Lafayette Foundation.

This is only shows a small bit of what he has done for UL.

Daily Advertiser, May 13, 2005
Opinion: Lamson was man of vision, action and compassion

The death of Alfred Lamson leaves a hole in the fabric of community life that may never be completely filled. Lamson was suis generis. In the words used by Edmond Rostand to describe the heroic Cyrano deBergerac, he was a man "whose like we lack."

His highly successful business career and many years of dedicated work for community betterment were marked by exceptional ability, great vision and unyielding energy. He approached life boldly, and with a quiet, light-hearted confidence. His kind, generous nature endeared him to generations of people in all walks of life.

Among the measures of his success in the oil and gas industry is the fact that, when the "great oil bust" of the early '80s decimated the local industry, Lamson's company survived and progressed. He had committed himself to a career in the petroleum field early in life, when the industry was beginning to surface in Acadiana and he met oilmen in fancier cars and better clothes than he had seen before in his home parish of St. Landry. His formative years were spent with the people who jump-started the industry here - and became industry legends. In those days when Lafayette's old Gordon Hotel was the "oil center" of Acadiana, he developed the skills and knowledge that would one day give him legendary status, also.

There is not enough room here to attempt a listing of his civic and charitable contributions. Some of them, such as quiet donations to educators with innovative ideas, were never publicized. Possibly the best example of his aggressive approach to making good things happen was in a fundraising effort for UL Lafayette, one of the abiding loves of his long life. When President Ray Authement asked him in 1981 to lead a drive to raise $600,000 in private contributions, he declined. He would, he told Authement, head a drive to raise $10 million. He undertook that daunting task and pushed it through to success.

Lamson thrived on challenges. When he became interested in the Lady Cajuns softball team, then-Coach Yvette Girouard had taken it to an impressive level of success, but the girls practiced and played in facilities inferior to those of male athletes. Lamson launched a drive that corrected that inequity, and brought much-deserved recognition to the Lady Cajuns.

There is no better example of the boldness with which he approached every endeavor than his spearheading of an economic mission to China with Chinese-born Xiao-Lu Li, former director of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra.

Lamson was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the arts, but not many people knew that he was a musician of substantial skill. His lively wit was always evident, but not everyone knew that he was a Cajun-dialect humorist who entertained large crowds with a professionalism on par with that of Justin Wilson and Bud Fletcher. His Cajun comedy record album is a collector's item.

We have touched on but a few facets of the remarkable nature and accomplishments of this uncommonly able, talented and caring community leader. He loved life. He loved people. He loved his community. He proved his love again and again. He will be deeply missed.

Originally published May 13, 2005

Lamson's gifts to Acadiana wonderful

Jim Bradshaw
Regional Editor

You can measure Alfred Lamson's contributions to the community, literally, in the millions of dollars. But his biggest contribution may have been his infectious good humor, an eye-twinkling spirit that made everyone who met him think of the word "elfin," and his great optimism.

He made large gestures - as when he raised millions of dollars for the UL Foundation - that made him respected by the community. He also made quiet, anonymous ones that endeared him to the people who had the good fortune to know him.

Ray Authement aptly characterized him several years ago, when he was talking about Alfred's uncontested role as the most avid fan and supporter of the UL women's softball program.

"While people around him have aged over the years, Alfred has managed to stay young. He's easy to spot at university events. He's the white-haired guy who's wearing a red jacket - and has a big smile."

Because of his support for UL, Alfred was given an honorary doctorate, but he was probably prouder of the reserved parking spot given him next to Lady Cajun park.

A parking spot of your own on the UL campus - that's something, he would say.

Alfred was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the arts and of many civic enterprises, he gave both time and money to many causes and was able to persuade, cajole, shame, or wear down others until they also came through for those things that he supported. He was a hard man to say "no" to, partly because of his charm and persuasiveness and partly because he feigned deafness when you did.

It was evident that Alfred Lamson enjoyed life. He had fun doing business, and he had fun making others smile when he wasn't doing business.

He was a musician of not inconsiderable skill and for a time as a young man had his own band that played in clubs around Acadiana. He was also a Cajun-dialect humorist who entertained large crowds with a professionalism on par with that of Justin Wilson and Bud Fletcher.

His secret was his unabashed enthusiasm for practically everything. He liked a challenge. He was curious about many things. And when he decided he wanted to get something done, it was best to get behind him or get the heck out of the way.

His life and interests encompassed a litany of "goods."

Good work. Good will. Good music. Good deeds. Good times. Good friends who will miss him.

(Jim Bradshaw is a columnist for The Advertiser. He can be reached at 289-6315 by fax at 289-6443, or by e-mail at jbradshaw@ theadvertiser.com.)

Originally published May 15, 2005

Lamson buried
'There will never be another' like him

Jason Brown

Alfred Lamson

Tears mingled with laughter as Alfred Lamson was remembered Sunday by those who knew him the best. His funeral service brought together friends, community leaders and University of Lousiana's softball players - groups that he knew so well.

Lamson, 87, an independent oil and gas producer, philanthropist and community leader, was buried Sunday. He died in his sleep Thursday.

He was described in countless ways by those who eulogized him, each of them stirring nods of approval, laughter and the occasional tear. The stories ranged from his own personal account of owning his first mule, which was read by one of his granddaughters, to the notarized promise he made to his son - and kept - to spend at least one day out of each month exclusively with him.

UL President Ray Authement painted a portrait of the man that Lamson's friends and associates easily recognized.

"The relationship between the university and Alfred Lamson changed this community and changed the way we do business in Louisiana," Authement said. "He taught us to think big and how to pursue the highest dreams that you can think up and reap success in whatever endeavor you perform."

Authement said he was often called upon by Lamson to answer "troubling" off-the-wall questions at a moment's notice, questions such as, "What's the escape velocity of a missile when leaving the earth's gravitational pull?" He said Lamson thought Authement should know the answers because "you're the president of a university and you should know everything."

Authement also fondly recounted how he asked Lamson to raise $600,000 for the university. Lamson refused to trifle with such a sum. He raised $10 million instead.

He said it was Lamson's gift of gab that made it all possible.

"He was able to converse with every person that he met, regardless of race or religion and he did it with so much ease," Authement said.

Alfred's grandson Garret Lamson read a letter by novelist Ernest J. Gaines to the Lamson family. Gaines, who was a writer-in-residence at UL, apologized for not being able to be there in person due to an illness.

"I will miss him deeply in my heart. He was true to his being. The mold is broken and there will never be another Alfred Lamson," Gaines wrote.

Former UL Lady Cajun coach Yvette Girouard described him as a "giant of a man" whose impact on people can't be described.

Girouard said he was the first to make it cool to be a Lady Ragin Cajun softball fan.

Current coach Stefni Lotief also eulogized Lamson. She and her entire team were present for the funeral. They returned early this morning from their conference championship victory in Kentucky - a victory they dedicated to him.

She said that while they were in Kentucky, a rainbow was in the sky even though there was no rain in sight. She attributed it to him.

"I truly know that he was with us in Kentucky," she said.

Originally published May 16, 2005

Alfred Lamson led a uniquely charmed and rich life. I have yet to meet another person with the optimism and enthusiasm exhibited by Alfred. He seemed so much younger and more energetic than his contemporaries during our relationship. He loved his work and he loved his family even more. To attempt to describe him and his influence on me would be to invite failure, because it cannot be done. He was simply the most humorous and capable person I have ever known.

Though I had not been in direct contact with him for over 15 years, the news of his death affected me considerably. I wept just telling my family members about him. Phone calls recently to mutual friends in Lafayette always brought more tears. I am not afraid to say that Alfred Lamson was my friend and that I loved him.

The UL family lost a good and true man when Alfred Lamson passed away this month and his death will leave a void that may never be replaced.

Raymond Goodrich quiviramel@wans.net
Austin, Texas
May 24, 2005

Yvette Girouard, ygirouard@yahoo.com
Baton Rouge, La
August 22, 2005

Cool, Cute and Canille, are the words that I will always remember when recalling Alfred Lamson. I know he would smile that huge smile and probably shed a tear at my words of description. Always "be cool", and that he loved me, was the way he said goodbye on the phone. He was a "giant of a man" in my book. I never, ever, heard him talk ill of anyone and he would just about do anything to help people. He lived his life largely, drinking in every day. It is said that if you go through a day without smiling then that is a day lost. Well there were no lost days for Alfred. He loved people and they loved him in return.
The Cajuns past, present and in the future will always be in debt to Alfred but none more than the Lady Cajun Softball athletes. The moment Alfred arrived on the scene at Lady Cajun Park it became "cool" to go to Lady Cajun games. Because Alfred was one of the coolest guys in town, long hair included. What Alfred did best was to involve others in what he thought was a good idea. In the process he brought life long Cajun fans and giants in the community to the ball park - Carol and Ron Gomez, Herbert Heymann, Hardy Edmiston, Grant Mollett, Frazz Smith,and Snook Castille to name a few who in turn made all of our lives easier with their projects and support. But Alfred gave "us" much more than just his monetary support. He thought it important that the Lady Cajuns never forget their status in the community - thus every new fall semester he would speak to the girls about what was really important - the way they carried themselves on and off the field. He held an annual Lady Cajun dinner in a new house every year, showing our young women how to act in various social settings. He gave away valuable sold out tickets to the first Olympic softball venue and furnished every school in Lafayette Parish with oversized world maps. See Alfred was a giver and anyone who came in contact with him never forgot that meeting. I know that he changed my life in various ways and I will always be grateful to that cool, cute, canille man.

Yvette Girouard