Obituary of Gordon S. Lamb
Gordon Stuart Lamb, passed suddenly on October 22, 2019. The son of Renaté Stratton and Donald S. Lamb, Gordy is survived by his sister Tina Lortz, her husband Chip and nephews Ridge and James, of Maryland; and his stepmother Dr. Elizabeth Little-Lamb (seriously) of Florida.
This is not going to be your typical obituary, because Gordy was not your typical guy. Born in 1961 in Falls Church, Virginia, Gordy had a unique and fascinating life from the beginning. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to the Philippines, where his little sister was born. Due to Gordy’s father’s job with the State Department, the family was well traveled, living in the Philippines, Taiwan and Iran, traveling extensively throughout his childhood to Africa, India, Egypt, Germany and other parts of Europe.
As a kid, Gordy was a stellar student, getting straight A’s in grade school, middle school and early high school, receiving the majority of his education in Taiwan at the Dominican School and the Taipei American school.
It was also during this time that young Gordy developed into a tremendous athlete, excelling at swimming, tennis and baseball. He successfully competed in swimming and tennis as a teen in Taipei, before Gordy’s father was reassigned to Iran, moving the family there in 1978.
Perhaps it was the combination of his strong, nurturing family, curious and cultured upbringing, and nomadic childhood that caused Gordy to develop his gregarious personality, independent, out-of-the-box way of thinking, and sense of humor. Traits that shaped his adulthood, and served him well throughout the remainder of his life.
The family was evacuated from Iran in 1978 during the Islamic Revolution, briefly residing in Greece before coming stateside in 1979, settling in Pittsford when Gordy was 18.
Gordy’s athleticism continued in the states where he starred on the Pittsford Sutherland H.S. football and baseball teams, while continuing to play tennis competitively at Mendon Valley Tennis Club.
After high school, Gordy briefly attended the University of Niagara, but decided college wasn’t for him, and enlisted in the Army. Gordy enlisted in 1982, becoming a paratrooper (interesting choice, considering his intense fear of heights), serving 3 years before being honorably discharged after injuring his knee during a jump (although rumors persist that it may have had something to do with a commander’s daughter…).
Gordy came home from the service and settled into his version of civilian life in East Rochester. It was during this time that he entered into what he fondly referred to his “rock star” days – complete with long flowing locks and those bad 80’s fashion choices. Partying, concerts and epic skirt chasing (to hear him tell it) highlighted this period of his life, cementing ride or die relationships with an enormous circle of friends that would become forever his second family.
People were just drawn to Gordy, and instantly became his friend. One such buddy, Jamie, recounts how he became friends with Gordy during that time. “We were both dogs in those days, and ER was a small town, so I’m pretty sure we were both “seeing” the same girls. Early on, I knew of Gordy, had seen him around, but we weren’t really what I’d call friends. Well one night, I get a call from him out of the blue. I don’t even know how he got my number! And he growled through the phone at me in his most intimidating voice – Gordy always thought he was really intimidating – “So I hear you’ve been seeing my girlfriend.” I thought about it a sec, and said, “Which one?” There was an awkward moment of silence and then I hear this great burst of laughter. “What are you doing man? Come down here and grab a beer with me right now!” I did, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.”
Despite his lengthy list of romantic relationships, Gordy never married. But that didn’t stop him from being a great dad, uncle and grandfather to so many of those people in his life. The following thought of Gordy as Dad: Shaun, Kate, Rebecca, Sara, Joe, Carey, Tara, Abby, Christopher and Ashley. And Gordy was like a grandfather to Mike, Emily, Sam, Kennelly and Riley.
Also during those ER days, Gordy started his professional life with an illustrious albeit brief stint in construction, which he quickly discovered did not suit his entrepreneurial spirit, and promptly went on to something that better matched his outgoing personality – and need to sleep in. Opening his own entertainment company and DJ service, Gordy started moving into a lifestyle that allowed him to live life on his own terms – not bound by “traditional” constraints or expectations.
Being his own man – his own boss – suited Gordy to a tee, and he began to transition into his next phase as a professional poker player and gambler. Always a math wiz, Gordy excelled at both – from a technical standpoint if not a technological one. To his last day, Gordy wielded his trusty flip phone and “1980’s Radio-Shack style” computer from which he issued his hysterical weekly Fantasy Football Assessments (after years of handwriting and snail-mailing them) solely to amuse all the guys in his league.
Win, lose or draw, Gordy was larger than life at the poker table – whether it was during poker night around his kitchen table, at the many casinos or clubs he frequented or when playing a WSOP event in Vegas. The self-professed best player in Rochester (as so documented in an old D&C article much to the delight of – and ribbing from – his poker-playing friends), Gordy had no problem berating a player for “bad play” at the top of his lungs, singing out loud and off tune to his ancient Discman, or telling jokes between hands. “Gordy brought such life to the poker table, every time – especially when he lost a hand he felt he should have won, which was any hand he was in,” his poker buddy Chris laughs. “We all still quote Gordy-isms – all the time. He’ll always be with us through his sense of humor.” You see, that’s because Gordy loved nothing more than to entertain others, be it at their expense. Or his.
Never was that more evident than in his golf game. Gordy started playing a bit later in life. And while he still thought of himself as that young, athletic superstar, that prowess didn’t quite translate into his golf game. His golf buddies love to imitate his golf antics – complete with his gestures, facial expressions and voice. From him singing “Baby, Come Back” every time he hit the ball off course, which was apparently quite frequently. To him breaking his driver over his knee and hurling it into the woods after promising to do so if he missed the shot. His golf buddy Cat sums up Gordy’s golf game this way, “So he slices the ball right, the hill's going right, the wind's blowing right, and so of course, the ball bounces right.” And then, as if channeling Gordy, Cat gives Gordy’s reaction, “How unlucky am I?”
Whenever Gordy’s friends and family get together, they can’t help but tell their favorite Gordy stories or offer up their best Gordy imitations – many of which resulted from a temporary lapse in good judgment. “Remember that time in Vegas…” “How about when he…” “Oh man you missed when he ripped into…” “Did I ever tell you about that time we…”
The stories just flow. As does the shared laughter over the less-than-PC nicknames Gordy made up for so many of his circle (99% of which we cannot share in this public posting). His sister Tina, whom Gordy often called a “very dum-dum girl,” puts it best, “The more offensive the nickname, the more outrageous the outburst, the more he loved you! The things he’s called me, told me and asked of me over the years would shock most people, but I’d just laugh and shake my head because I’d expect—and want – nothing less. I can’t believe I’ll never answer the phone again to hear him launch into one of his hilarious tirades.”
If any of this offends, then you didn’t know Gordy well – as he was raw, raunchy, and real – and always ready to love, help, advise and amuse all of us lucky enough to call him friend and family. The world is a sadder, emptier place without him by our side. We are so grateful God shared him with us while He did.
Please share your favorite memories and stories of Gordy here, or at the celebration of his life, Sunday, December 1, which will take place at Quinzi Lodge in Eyer Park in East Rochester. The celebration will begin at 1:00pm and all who loved Gordy are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, we will be collecting funds to secure Gordy’s final memorial, with the remainder being donated to the American Heart Association in his name.
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