Phil Lamm died at home Sunday morning Oct. 18, 2020, from stage four prostate cancer.
Charles Philip (Phil) Lamm was born on Aug. 12, 1932, to Charles Jesse Lamm and Leona E. Campbell Lamm in Central City, Neb.
In August, 1935, Leona and her three sons, Keith, age 9, Phil, age 3, and one-year old Donald boarded a westbound Union Pacific train to join Charles, who had found construction employment near Caldwell, Idaho. They were fortunate to get a coach car which had recently been equipped with air conditioning and gave them some relief from the 100 plus degree heat. The train trip was quite an adventure for the family as it moved westward from the dust bowl into green mountains and irrigated fields.
Phil’s brother, Mel, was born in 1936 and Charles continued work for MK Construction until 1940 when he began farming near Notus and Greenleaf, Idaho. All four boys were busy helping with livestock and crops. Keith was drafted into the Army in 1944 and this left more work for Phil and his younger brothers. It was during this time that the three brothers began singing and harmonizing together while milking the cows.
Phil and his brothers all enjoyed school and played football, basketball, and baseball at Greenleaf Friends Academy. They were active in musical groups and drama productions as well.
Phil graduated from GFA and enrolled at George Fox College in 1950. He sang in a college choir, a male quartet, and was a tenor soloist in several events. He played first base and stayed very busy traveling with baseball and musical events and had a busy work schedule off campus.
In 1951 Phil transferred to Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho and commuted from the family farm which allowed him to help with the farm work. He was busy at NNC with studies and with music. It was there where he met Georgia Williams from Kamiah, Idaho. They graduated with BA degrees on May 31, 1954, and were married on June 1, 1954.
Phil was drafted into the Army in 1955 and was assigned for two years as a neurological technician at Valley Forge Army Hospital at Phoenixville, Pa. Georgia completed her year of teaching at Melba, Idaho and joined Phil at Valley Forge where she was hired to teach Vocational Home Economics and Child Development at a large secondary school district. Phil sang tenor in a U.S. First Army male chorus and he and Georgia traveled up and down the east coast. They enjoyed their time there and returned to Caldwell after Phil’s honorable discharge in December 1957.
Phil worked as executive secretary of the Canyon County Farm Bureau and agent for the Idaho Farm Bureau Insurance and later in Idaho Falls as agency manager. While working with Farm Bureau in Canyon County, Phil farmed with his father for two years and won the Farm Bureau statewide talent show in 1958. He was sent to Boston to sing at the National Farm Bureau convention and was later asked to sing a hymn before Madam Chiang Kai-shek delivered her keynote speech.
Phil and Georgia moved to Kamiah, Idaho in 1963 when they were hired to teach at Clearwater Valley Schools. Phil taught English, speech and debate there for five years and became Unit Superintendent and High School Principal in 1968. The logging, ranching and lumber industries provided growing employment and school enrollment in the community and Phil enjoyed the challenges involved with building new facilities. The Kooskia Elementary School was remodeled, the Valley Primary School, new bus shop, new industrial arts building, new library and new special education rooms, new activity gym, new tennis courts, and electronics computer science room were built. These new facilities helped the staff to provide an excellent curriculum, needed equipment for vocational education and a variety of activities. A new elementary school was built at Powell, Idaho to serve the children of the logging and U. S. Forest Service employees there. The staff and curriculum helped several CVHS students win appointments to United States Military Academies and graduate with commissions and many others go on to college or successful careers locally. Phil worked to help develop a Distance Learning program for the high school students at Elk City so those who wanted to do so, could study toward a high school diploma at home without traveling out to board and attend school at Kooskia or Grangeville, Idaho.
He served as president of the Idaho Secondary Principals Association and served several years on the board of directors of Idaho Teachers Mutual Insurance Company. In 1984, he was selected as Assistant Superintendent of Grangeville School District # 241 from which he retired in 1995. Phil and Georgia celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on June 1, 2019. This was a great celebration with all of their family in attendance. Somebody said that Phil had sung for several attendees’ weddings and when counted in the guest book, discovered that this was true for 19 couples. Phil and Georgia were both ill before and after the time of their anniversary and were hospitalized shortly after at Nampa. They entered a retirement/assisted living facility in Caldwell for five months and returned home in late November 2019.
Phil loved the outdoors and especially pheasant hunting. He also hunted big game close to home and in the summer took their string of horses, his family and several neighbor kids on wilderness fishing trips to the Selway/Lochsa high lake country and the Seven Devils. He and Georgia camped and fished at Dworshak and made several trips to Alaska, Montana, Oregon and British Columbia.
Phil and Georgia planned a trip to the British Isles and asked advice about train and bus travel from coach and teacher friend, Craig Cunningham, who recommended that the Lamms should rent a car for best travel to their destinations. They took his advice and about two hours into driving on the left side and circling on numerous roundabouts, Phil said “next time I see Cunningham, I’m going to choke him!” Georgia wrote a route for them to drive each day with highway numbers and villages. At each intersection she cried out, “stay left, stay left!” But it turned out well. In fact, they really enjoyed this month long self-guided drive-about tour. They did it again two years later on a two-day trip to England and five weeks in Europe, where they drove to several sites listed in Georgia’s dad’s memoirs about his service in France in WWI. Georgia’s brother, John, served in some of these same places in WWII and one of her uncles and one of Phil’s cousins also died there during the war. In 2006, Phil received a phone call from Jim Replogle, an Army friend who invited them to join him and his wife, Carol, on a guided tour of Russia, all of the Scandinavian countries, and Iceland on the way home. This was a superb trip which provided great memories and fabulous photos.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Leona, and his three brothers, Keith, Donald, and Melvin. He is survived by his wife, Georgia, and their three children, Douglas (Karen) Payette, Idaho; Barbara Lamm Rumann (Ron) Kent, Wash; Dwight (Ann) Bigfork, Mont; five grandchildren: Joel (Nicole) Lamm, Alyssa (Tanner) Dixon, Kaitlyn (Charles) French, Casey Rumann, Logan (Janae) Lamm; and three great-grandchildren: Thea Lamm, Lawson Lamm, and Lennon Lamm.
Phil was an active member of the Woodland Friends Church where he served several years as Sunday School teacher, song leader and board member.
A viewing will be held at Trenary Funeral Home in Kooskia, Idaho on Friday, Oct. 30 from 4 – 7 p.m. A graveside service will be held at the Woodland Cemetery on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 2 p.m. A celebration of Phil’s life will be held sometime in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to one of the following organizations:
Carrot Ridge Volunteer Fire District, 2065 Woodland Rd, Kamiah, ID 83536 or
PAN Foundation, PO Box 76408, Baltimore, MD 21275-6408 to the Prostate Cancer Grant Fund in honor of Phil Lamm.