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George Lambaere, 76, Owatonna

George Lambaere, 76, Owatonna, obituary

George Ralph Lambaere passed away on Friday, July 5, 2024, at Timberdale Trace Memory Care in Owatonna, after a hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s. He was surrounded by his loving wife of 51 years, his children, family, and his dedicated care team.

George was born on July 29,1947, in Osage, Iowa, to parents George and Julia (Duponchelle) Lambaere. He was raised on the family farm in St. Ansgar with his sisters, Mary Lou, Kathy, and Joanne. George attended a one room country schoolhouse through fifth grade, St. Ansgar School through eighth grade, and graduated from Visitation High School in 1965. He was involved in basketball, baseball, 4-H, and had a short stint in band. A highlight of his time in 4-H was serving on the state council, representing Iowa in Washington, D.C., and earning grand champion for his calf.

Following high school, George attended St. John’s University and graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Winona, with a degree in social studies.

George began his teaching career at Marian High School in Owatonna. During this time, he met the love of his life, Terri Tlougan. They were married at St. Teresa’s Chapel in Winona, on Oct. 14, 1972. They raised three children together and enjoyed many memories as a family. George made sure the house was filled with love, laughter, storytelling, and cold beer throughout the years.

Upon receiving his Masters in school social work, he began his career at the Wilson Center in Faribault, where he was highly regarded and made a lasting impact on his colleagues, patients, and families. George could be found running the streets of Faribault over his lunch hour as he trained for and completed six Twin Cities marathons! Eventually, he continued his work in the field of social work through the Level 5 Program at Owatonna High School before transitioning to a general education counselor for the final years of his career. A highlight for him was being honored as the grand marshal of the Owatonna Homecoming Parade. George had a phenomenal career and touched the lives of so many students, staff, and families along the way.

After retiring, George loved grabbing his coffee at Kwik Trip, fishing at the cabin with his family or on trips with friends, cheering on his grandchildren in their sports, sharing stories that were both fact and fiction, and just taking time to sit back and relax on the porch with his favorite beverage. Quickly into retirement, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and fought a courageous battle to keep his memories over the past eight years. The memories he created with his family over the years are a gift we will hold on to forever. In his final months, we still saw glimpses of George, Dad, and Papa. He remained at home until his final month of life due to the dedication and devotion of his loving wife. Even though it was a short time, the staff at Timberdale Trace grew to love him and his humor quickly. He kept us all on our toes and smiles were shared until the very end.

We know he is smiling down at us, tapping his foot to Love Shack, enjoying handfuls of butterscotch discs, and embracing all those who left this world before him.

He was preceded in death by parents: George and Julia (Duponchelle) Lambaere, his in-laws: John and Betty (Gebhard) Tlougan, brother-in-law, Russ McNitt, nephew, Steven Kennedy, and other family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Terri (Tlougan) Lambaere; children: John (Paula) Lambaere of Sauk Rapids, Emily (Dave) Hovland, of Austin, and Matt Lambaere (significant other Kate Holmes) of Austin; his adoring grandchildren: Jonas, Jude, Harper, and Harrison Hovland, and Stella and

Calvin Lambaere; sisters: Mary Lou Kennedy, Osage, Iowa, Kathy McNitt, Aitkin, and Joanne (Tom) Wilder, Mason City; as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.

A special thank you to the staff at Timberdale Trace Memory Care and St. Croix Hospice for their kind, compassionate care of George in his final month of life.

Please join us in celebrating George’s life on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Brick-Meger Funeral Home, 1603 Austin Road, Owatonna. A Knights of Columbus Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. The visitation will continue at 10 a.m., prior to the funeral Mass on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 512 South Elm St., Owatonna.

Memorials to the family are preferred.

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