E. Clair Lambert


E. Clair Lambert, 91, of Fulton, passed away Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, at the Madison Regional Health System.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, at St. Charles Catholic Church in Artesian. Visitation will be held Friday from 2-6 p.m. at the church with a prayer service at 6 p.m., followed by a Rosary led by the Knights of Columbus. Interment will follow at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Artesian, with military rites provided by SDANG 114th Fighter Wing and American Legion Post 47. The funeral will be livestreamed on the funeral chapel Facebook page. Masks will be required. Online guestbook is available at www.rustandweilandfuneral.com. Arrangements are entrusted with Rustand-Weiland Funeral Chapel of Madison.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Miner County 4-H, SD IFYE Assn., Good Samaritan Center~Howard and be sent to Rustand-Weiland Funeral Chapel, 320 N. Egan Ave., Madison, SD 57042.

Clair was born April 25, 1929, to Earl and Lois (Carpenter) Lambert. He graduated from Fedora High School as salutatorian in 1947 and attended South Dakota State University for three years before returning to the family farm. Clair enlisted in the US Air Force in 1951 and served as a TTAF Instructor for Avionics at Lowry Airfield, Denver, Colo. Clair met Phyllis Oster, of Ethan, through the SD Rural Youth Organization, and they were married on Oct. 6, 1952, in Ethan.

Upon completing his US military service in 1955, Clair and Phyllis returned to Miner County. Clair began with purebred Hampshire swine and sheep as a youth and built a diversified crop and livestock operation as his family grew. Purebred Shorthorn cattle, purebred and crossbred Spotted swine farrow to finish, commercial Holstein milk cows (40+ years), Hampshire sheep and all the various feeds necessary to sustain and grow them were produced on the farm. Even after his retirement, Clair remained involved in agriculture, working for 10 years at Mitchell Livestock Market and assisting on the farm.

Clair was instrumental in the growth of many organizations: Artesian School Board (24 years), Post 47 Artesian American Legion (60+ years) serving as Post Commander and longest active member of Post Color Guard, Chairman of the Fedora Alumni Association for many years, Miner County Extension Board (22 years), SD Shorthorn Assn., and Knights of Columbus Artesian Council and Msgr. Thomas A. Flynn Assembly (40+ years and Honorary Life Member).

Clair’s involvement in 4-H spanned nearly 80 years. He was awarded a trip to the National 4-H Club Congress, was a charter member of the Helpful Workers 4-H Club and 4-H Leader (40 years), attended 77 SD State Fairs as a youth exhibitor, 4-H Leader, and 4-H judge. He was a judge at the county level and on the 4-H Camp Lakodia Board. He was elected as President of the SD 4-H Leaders Association in 1988. Clair and Phyllis participated in the North Central 4-H Leaders forums for 15+ years, and Clair co-chaired the 1993 North Central 4-H Leaders Forum. He was an active member of Farmer’s Union and served as a Beaver Township Board Supervisor.

Among the awards Clair received for his contributions were Friend of Extension (1994), Volunteer of the Year at the 4-H Clover Classic (1995), Mitchell Daily Republic’s “50 Great Faces” Special Edition (1996), South Dakota Eminent Farmer (2001), SD 4-H Hall of Fame Inaugural Class (2002), and Miner County Friend of 4-H Award (2010).

Clair is survived by his wife, Phyllis of Howard; seven children, Karen Lambert of Artesian, Jane (Terry) Cooper of Bismarck, N.D., Alan Lambert of Sioux Falls, Paul (Julie) Lambert of Madison, Linda (Craig) Maeschen of Dell Rapids, Craig Lambert of Fulton, and Wayne (Heather) Lambert of Mitchell; four brothers, Harry Lambert of Mitchell, Merlyn Lambert of Longmont, Colo., Neil Lambert of Loveland, Colo., and Darrell Lambert of Ft. Worth, Texas; 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Clair was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Lois Lambert; and sister, Eloise (Lambert) Moon.

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