Keifer Family Tree

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  • ID: I23214
  • Name: Darrell Albert Lambert
  • Given Name: Darrell Albert
  • Surname: Lambert
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 15 Oct 1906 in Tonopah, Nye, Nevada
  • Death: 1 Aug 1961 in San Francisco, San Francisco, California of leukemia 1
  • Reference Number: 1788 2 3
  • DSCR: SSN: 700-07-3465
  • _UID: 2E139128984A064A860F5DF930EDD5B2BB9E
  • Change Date: 6 Aug 2010 at 14:23
  • Note:
    The younger of two boys, Darrell was born in Tonopah, Nevada where his father had gone looking for employment. Soon after Darrell was born, his father deserted the family, leaving them destitute. Darrell's mother scrubbed floors so the little family could survive.

    Hearing of their plight, Kate's brother, Richard, traveled to Nevada to take the family home to Amador City. When Darrell was two years old, his father took his own life. To support her family, Kate became a housekeeper and cook at a ranch near Sacramento.

    It was on this ranch that Darrell lived until he was 11. Then tragedy struck a second time in his young life. Kate had a massive stroke which paralyzed her right side. She was placed in the county hospital, unable to walk, and Darrell and his brother Bill went to live with relatives.

    The boys lived part of the time with Kate's brother, Richard Bennetts, in Amador City and part of the time with her cousin Richard Bennetts in Sacramento. It was in Sacramento where Darrell was listed in the 1920 census as a 14-year old lodger living with Richard Bennetts and working as a delivery boy for a drug store.

    According to Darrell's cousin, Arthur Bennetts of Amador City, when Darrell stayed with his family, he went to school with Arthur in the little schoolhouse in Amador City and ran with the bunch of boys in the town as they roamed the hills looking for adventure. During the day they liked to play marbles and in the early evening, there would always be a game of Run Sheep Run or Hide and Seek.

    Darrell found his adventure in the U.S. Army when he enlisted at 18 years of age. Picture postcards of Ft. Lewis, Washington, found in his papers after his death, suggest that he was stationed there. His discharge papers state that he was a mail clerk when he enlisted and that he was a private in the 4th Infantry stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco at the time of his discharge in July 1925. He was only in the Army for one year.

    Darrell then lived with his brother Bill in Sacramento where he worked various jobs. Arthur says that he would disappear every so often and no one knew where he went. He wouldn't come home from work and when Bill would go to his employer to find out where Darrell was, he would be told that Darrell hadn't shown up for work and that there was a pay check waiting for him. He would be gone for months at a time and sometimes for more than a year. Then he would show up again and no one would ever find out where he had been. According to Arthur, Darrell always used his own name during these mysterious absences.

    During one of his absences, he got married to Nell Vanora on 16 Aug 1928. It is not know where the marriage took place or how long it lasted before it ended in divorce. It was ten years before he tried marriage agin, this time to his brother Bill's divorced wife, Ellen Wilson. They were married on 30 Mar 1938 and again the marriage ended in divorce.

    A letter of recommendation from E.A. Howard & Company (a lumber company in San Francisco) dated 1932, states that he was employed by them for about a year. In 1933 he enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), serving for a year. His certificate of discharge states that he was a truck driver by occupation and had brown eyes, light brown hair and fair complexion and stood 6 feet and inch.

    He was employed by the State of California, Division of Forestry, but it is not known how long he worked as a State Forest Ranger. A notification of test results from the State of California Personnel Board in 1940 listed his address as Susanville, California. He had applied for a position as fire suppression crew foreman. His performance report for May 1943 was excellent in all areas. By 1944, Darrell was working as the head of the shipping department at General Paint in San Francisco.

    It was at General Paint that he met Florence Johnson Baird Petree and they fell in love. Florence was a divorcee with five daughters ranging in age from 4 to 11 years. Darrell and Florence were married in 1944 in a simple ceremony in Florence's home and Darrell became an instant father.

    Darrell was a quiet man of little conversation who didn't interfere with Florence's raising of her girls. He was hard of hearing and wore a hearing aid with a wire running from his ear to a "hearing box" tucked into his shirt. When the din of five noisy girls got to be too much for him, you would see his hand reach into his shirt and you knew he was turning down his hearing aid to shut it all out.

    He enjoyed reading western paperback books and accumulated quite a collection. Early each evening he would retire to bed where he would get lost in another Zane Grey novel.

    Papa faithfully provided for his new family through difficult years with both of them having to work and the money still very tight. They had no luxuries, but they always had enough food to eat and some money left over for an occasional evening out at the movies.

    Papa and Florence never took a vacation except one trip in 1950 to Utah, Idaho and Oregon to visit Florence's relatives and return to the places where she had lived as a child. That trip was made in an old Nash Rambler with a rack on top holding a mattress and blanket rolls for the five girls. They would find a place each night to camp out with Papa and Florence sleeping on the mattress and each of the girls in her blanket on the ground. It was quite a trip!

    Darrell did not belong to any church, but attended the LDS church with Florence twice a year - on Easter and at Christmas time. On the other Sundays he drove the family to church in the morning for Sunday School, picked them up when it was finished, drove them to church again in the evening for Sacrament meeting and picked them up when the service ended.

    He did that for 13 years. Then, in 1959, Florence visited her daughter, Lesly Klippel, in Tacoma, Washington. Lesly was expecting her fourth child and since Scott was born two weeks after his due date and Florence stayed for two more weeks to help the family, she was gone for a month. While she was away, two Stake missionaries rang Darrell's doorbell. When he answered the door and they introduced themselves, he replied that his wife was not at home. They said that they realized she was away and that they had come to see him.

    Darrell invited them in and listened to their message. By the time Florence returned home a month later, Darrell was ready to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    He took his membership in the Church very seriously, giving up chewing tobacco and his San Francisco 49ers season ticket. He served in the Sunday School Presidency, began tracing his ancestors and was attending temple preparation classes when he was stricken with leukemia.

    Two years after joining the Church, he passed away. After his death, Florence often had a dream in which he was longingly reaching out to her. In 1966, when Florence was living with her daughter Lesly in Germany, the family went to the Swiss Temple and her son-in-law, Kenneth Klippel stood proxy for Darrell while he and Florence were sealed for all eternity and Lesly was sealed to them. Florence had only one more dream of Darrell in which he was smiling happily at her.




    Father: Daniel Albert Lambert b: 23 May 1857 in Marylebone, Middlesex, England c: 5 Jul 1857 in Saint Mary Bryanston Square, Westminster, England
    Mother: Catherine Augusta Bennetts b: 3 May 1872 in Guadalupe Mine, Santa Clara Co., CA

    Marriage 1 Florence Johnson Baird b: 22 Mar 1903 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
    • Married: 27 Aug 1944 in San Francisco, San Francisco, California
    • Change Date: 6 Aug 2010

    Sources:
    1. Abbrev: California Death Certificate
      Title: California Death Certificate
      Author: State of California Department of Health Services
      Note:
      Surety:3
      Repository:
        Name: California Office of the State Registrar
        304 "S" Street
        Sacramento, CA 95814

      Quality: 3
      Note: Copy in possession Lesly Klippel, San Jose, CA.
    2. Media: Census
      Abbrev: California; 1910 Soundex
      Title: California; 1910 Soundex
      Author: U.S. Federal Government
      Note:
      Surety:3
      Repository:
        Name: Federal Archives Records Center
        1000 Commodore Drive
        San Bruno, CA
    3. Media: Census
      Abbrev: California; 1920 Soundex
      Title: California; 1920 Soundex
      Repository:
        Name: Federal Archives Records Center
        1000 Commodore Drive
        San Bruno, CA

      Quality: 3
      Text: Living with Richard Bennetts at 3765 Y Street.
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