Vernon Lambert Sr.

Vernon George Lambert, Sr. ‘Wambdi Nagi’ (Eagle Spirit), 83, of Crow Hill, N.D. passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at Altru Hospital Grand Forks, N.D.

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic the family requests all visitors wear a face mask in the church and proactive social distancing for the safety of the family and community. Visitation for Vernon was held Monday, March 22, 2021 beginning at 5 p.m. at Seven Dolors Catholic Church, Fort Totten, N.D. with a Rosary beginning at 7 p.m. The procession to Fort Totten left on Monday at 4 p.m. from City Plaza in Devils Lake. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday March 23, 2021 at 10 a.m. at the church. Vernon will be laid to rest beside his beloved parents and two daughters in St. Jerome’s Catholic Cemetery, rural Fort Totten, on Tuesday March 23, 2021 at 4 p.m. with Military Honors accorded by the Spirit Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6547.

Vernon George Lambert Sr., son of Charles and Grace (Young) Lambert, was born October 6, 1938 in Fort Totten. Vernon lived his whole life on the Spirit Lake Reservation, graduating from Bureau of Indian Affairs Community School, Ft. Totten, in 1957. Immediately after high school he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1957 to 1959.

After being honorably discharged, Vernon married Velma Dauphinais on October 9, 1965 and they moved to Chicago, Ill. Vernon and Velma returned to the Spirit Lake Reservation where they raised their eight children. In 1975 Vernon graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in Elementary Education, and his Master of Arts in Education in 1979. Vernon worked for Sioux Manufacturing for numerous years, before being hired as the director of Spirit Lake Tribal Social Services Program, a position he held from 1994-2001. From 2001 to 2007 he directed the Spirit Lake Tribe’s Education Department and in 2008 he became the Dakota Studies Instructor at Cankdeska Cikana Community College, where he worked until his retirement in March 2020. Vern was a sundancer and followed his Dakota ways. He served on the Parish Council at Seven Dolors Church for many years.

Vernon loved staying physically active and healthy. He began his running career early in his life, simply explaining how he liked the t-shirts they were giving out at a race, so he entered and realized how much he liked running. Vernon ran many 5K and 10K races and half and full marathons through-out his life. Some of his proudest moments were the full marathons he competed in, which includes; the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon, Russian Peace Marathon, Australia Marathon, Old Style Chicago Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon. It was never unusual to see Vernon running throughout the reservation, training for upcoming races, or simply just going for a run. 

Vernon's love for basketball had him competing in the ¨Old Pro¨ basketball tournaments, which had him traveling throughout the US. Vern loved to go to the annual Ft. Hall mens’ 40, 50, 60, and 65 and over basketball tourney. Vernon also enjoyed the game of fastpitch softball with the Dauphinais, Robertsons, and other local players.  

Life on Earth will be different without our husband, father, grandfather and friend, but his continued love, support and wise advice will help us continue to live a good life through his teachings.

Vernon is survived by his wife of 55 years, Velma Lambert; daughters and sons – Blanche Lambert, Dorothy Lambert, Monique Lambert, Catalina Lambert and Dawnette Nielson, Donovan and (Terri) Lambert, Vernon Lambert, Jr, Charles Lambert and Chance Lambert; sisters-in-law – Dorothea (Darcy) Olson, Darlene (Erich) Longie,  Angela (Jess) Cavanaugh, Laurie Dauphinais; brothers-in-law – Peter Dauphinais, Dean (Sonta) Dauphinais, Jamie Dauphinais and Hyllis (Nancy) Dauphinais; son-in-law, Kyle WalkingEagle; 20 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; special niece, Adele (Vincent) Shaw-Cavanaugh; special grandson, Joey Robertson; special cousins – Bernadine Pease, Sue (Val) Parker, Ernest ‘EJ’ (Tammy) Lambert and Marshelle Lambert; adopted daughters – Erika Miller, Rosemary Pease, Keema Fleming, Gracie Palazuelos; adopted sister, Ruth de Larious; adopted brother, Father Dennis.

Vernon was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Grace (Young) Lambert; sisters and brothers – Lorraine (Emerson) Robertson, Norma (Julius) Rainbow, Sharon Lambert, Mark Lambert, Eugene Lambert and Charles Lambert; daughters – Camille WalkingEagle and Grace Lambert; grandchildren – Monica Lambert and Kenyon Littlewind; brother-in-law, Jack (Eldora) Dauphinais; son-in-law, Myron Wanna Sr.

Active Pallbearers – Donovan Lambert, Vernon Lambert, Jr., Charles Lambert, Myron Wanna, Jr., Chance Lambert and Caleb Dahlen.

Honorary Pallbearers – Virgil Tiokason, Joe Vega, Mel (Corliss) Erickson, Everett Chasing Hawk, Neal Hale, Tony and Vina McDonald, Val Finley, Ernie Big Horn, Tom Robertson, Jerry (Nancy) Robertson, Roger Yankton, Quentin Yankton, Bill Schaff, Skip Longie, Lane Azure, Clayton (Deb)  Peltier, Daniel (Jackie) Peltier, Daryl (Kim) ThreeIrons, Sam Merrick, John Peacock and wife, John (Ramona) Chaske,  Josie (Clarice) Lawrence, Lorraine GreyBear, Stuart Young, Tina Plioum, Rick Stracqualursi, Ann Wadsworth, Chris Dahlen, Violet Robertson, Helena Littleghost, Patricia WalkingEagle, Myra Pearson, Melvine Rierson Mercy Hospital Staff, Altru Hospital Staff, Spirit Lake EMT and Lake Region Ambulance. Sorry if we omitted anyone – please forgive us, it was not intentional. 

Published on March 22, 2021