March 28, 1925 – January 7, 2019
Headline: Local WWII Veteran, O.J. Lamb dies at 93
Longtime Baytown resident and WWII veteran Orton Joseph Lamb was reunited with his beloved wife Atemsa when he passed away peacefully on Monday, January 7, 2019. O.J. was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on March 28, 1925 as the youngest of six children to Patrick and Louise Lamb.
O.J. was drafted for service into the Army Air Corp and served in WWII as a C46 pilot from 1943 through 1947. He served as a “Hump Pilot” flying daily, dangerous missions through the Himalayan Mountains supporting the China-Burma-India front in Asia during and immediately following WWII. He went onto serve as an instructor pilot in Hondo, TX during the Korean War.
Upon completion of his service, O.J. embarked on a more than 50-year career across multiple industries serving the people of Baytown, Texas City and Houston. He began his civilian career running a milk route and later a distribution center and went on to own multiple small businesses in the area. Throughout his career he demonstrated the resilience and humble dignity of a professional who worked diligently to serve his neighbors while building relationships that extended across every segment of the Baytown area.
His family enjoyed hearing so many of his stories of bravery, tenacity and service from his long career. Some of our favorites include his efforts to successfully rebuild his family’s financial future after losing all of their possessions and his job to Hurricane Carla in 1961. And, of course, his subsequent presence in the living room of his customers and friends, John and Annie Glenn, while John completed his first orbit around the earth in 1962. He and the wives of the other six Mercury astronauts who were also his customers were the only ones with the Glenn family that morning.
He loved his family, but above all he adored his precious wife of nearly 68 years Atemsa Leissner Lamb who he met while training for war in Austin, Texas and married a few months later. He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, four of his siblings and his son-in-law Lawrence Lauderdale. He is survived by his sister Patricia Lamb Lang of Sheboygan and a large family who were blessed to have him for so many years and will miss him dearly including his two children Melvin Johnson (Juanita) and Lana Lauderdale, his six grandchildren including Vicki Ford, Laci Holden, Karianna Lauderdale, Hayden Johnson (Tracey), Heath Johnson (Julie) and Marc Johnson (Tracy). He had ten great grandchildren who he knew and loved including Tristanna Ford, Savanna Hospedales (Justyn), Taylor Ford, Sadie McMullen, Mackay Johnson, Walker Johnson, Jake Johnson, Reagan Johnson, Hayden Johnson and Allie Johnson. He was even blessed with four precious great-great grandchildren whom he adored including Kyndall Hospedales, Brenning Ford, Brilynn Stone and Kalyse Hospedales. He leaves behind a large group of beloved cousins, nephews and nieces and, importantly, his sweet friend and caretaker Jennifer Negrete and her family who added so much love and life to his final year.
A memorial service will be held for O.J. on Friday, January 11th at 10:00am at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Baytown to celebrate his extraordinary life.
- Hayden Johnson
- Heath Johnson
- Marc Johnson
- Justin Hospedales