April 22, 2009 > Art Lampert
A party for Art
"And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance... I hope you dance"
There are those who, in the words of Lee Ann Womack's rendition of "I Hope You Dance," have chosen passionate and active participation in life. These souls see the passage of time as an opportunity for exploration of back roads and byways as well as well-traveled paths. Others fortunate enough to share that journey marvel at the rich tapestry of experience afforded by this singularity.
In retrospect, the formidable task of encapsulating the facets of such a marvel as Arthur Lampert can only be attempted through anecdotes, remembrances and the power of visualizing and listening to profound music. As an engaging, complex and lively personality, Art shared his vision and joy of life with those around him. Family and close friends shared intensely personal moments and his love at a memorial gathering at Washington West on Saturday, April 4, 2009. Interspersed with biographical information and civic accomplishments, powerful messages and feelings were conveyed through musical interludes.
A "Celebration of Life" was envisioned by Art's wife, Sumi and children Alyssa, Roger and David as a time to honor and enjoy the shared experience that was Art Lampert. Created by daughter Alyssa, the large crowd of family, friends and colleagues attending the celebration was visibly moved as Judge Richard Keller, Alameda County Water District General Manager Paul Piraino, friend, neighbor and business associate Lynn Barnett and family members participated. The breadth of Arthur Lampert, his intelligence, vision, humor and love of man and nature was difficult to miss as Art's 78 years of life beginning in The Bronx, New York was revealed. His early days playing stickball on the streets and attention to detail that carried him through graduation from The Cooper Union in New York City with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.
As a Assistant Highway Engineer with the California Dision of Highways, Associate Civil Engineer with the City of Hayward, Senior Civil Engineer for the City of Mountain View and Director of District Securities Division of the State of California, Art was known for his keen intellect and attention to detail. Intense focus did not eliminate a broad understanding and appreciation of the natural beauty around Art. He was a proud and vocal advocate of preserving and enjoying the natural beauty of Fremont and its environs, actively serving on a myriad of regional committees formed to achieve that goal. In response to his efforts along with many others, Ardenwood Historic Farm, Coyote Hills Regional Park, Quarry Lakes, Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge and preservation of the Fremont hillsides is part of the local landscape.
As a candidate for Fremont City Council where he served from 1972 - 1980, Art espoused two goals: enhancing the quality of life in Fremont and providing a city government more responsive to the needs of our citizens. Elected as a member of the board of the Alameda County Water District in 1998, serving until his death, Art was true to his nature as he paid attention to detail and advocated recreational opportunities including Quarry Lakes recreation as well as biking and walking trails throughout the area.
In a memorial message to the Lampert family, Jane Mueller noted that Art was a man of "imagination and integrity," adding, "He was a statesman in the true sense of the word." In a hand printed statement for a school assignment for one of his kids, Art wrote, "Local Government at its best is an excellent example of democracy in action." He believed in that sentiment with every fiber of his being.
Art's grandchildren joined the remembrance as Tim played When the Saints Come Marching In on his saxophone and Michelle read a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote enjoyed by Art to express her interpretation of "Papa."
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know that one life has breathed easier
because you lived here.
This is to have succeeded.
Arthur Lampert succeeded.