Doris S. Lamar

August 10, 2021

Doris Lamar Obituary

Doris Shirley Lamar (nee White) passed away peacefully on August 10, 2021 in Orange, Connecticut surrounded by her loving family. She was 87. Shirley is survived by her husband Dr. Howard R. Lamar; her daughter Sarah H. Lamar, son-in-law Scott M. Gress and three grandsons Geoffrey, Thomas, and Peter Gress of Savannah, Georgia; her nieces Penny and Pym Buitenhuis and nephew Paul Buitenhuis of Canada; and her nieces Mary Jane Lamar and Katie Lamar Jackson of Alabama. She is preceded in death by her beloved daughter Susan K. Lamar and sister Patricia A. Buitenhuis. Shirley was a livewire – formidable, courageous, loving, generous, and loyal to both friends and family. Born in London, England in 1933, she was a child when World War II erupted. She and her older sister Pat were sent to the countryside during the London bombings to knock on doors in the hope that someone would take them in. Shirley's cherished father had been an officer in World War I, badly injured in the trenches of France. These family experiences profoundly affected Shirley and shaped her view of the world and the fragility of the human condition, and her empathy for those afflicted. Shirley attended the Ursuline Convent school in London, of which she did not have fond memories. Nevertheless, she played field hockey and was the captain of her school tennis team. She later became employed at Lloyd's of London, a job she loved. But while still in her 20's Shirley decided to leave post-war England for a new adventure in America. She landed in New Haven where her sister Pat was living at the time. Shirley met and married Howard, who was then an assistant professor of history at Yale. As Howard rose through the academic ranks and assumed ever-increasing administrative responsibilities throughout his long career, Shirley tirelessly supported her husband - from typing his book manuscripts to entertaining starving graduate students and thirsty faculty at their home in North Haven. She and Howard were stalwart fixtures of university life at Yale for many decades. Shirley welcomed all and rarely met a stranger she could not charm in short order. Shirley was a woman of many interests. She loved music and playing the piano, she was a voracious gardener, and an avid tennis player. A dedicated wife and mother, Shirley also yearned for her own career fulfillment. In her 50's she decided to get back in the job market and for many years worked at the Association of Yale Alumni in New Haven. Among her many responsibilities, Shirley planned alumni trips throughout the United States and some of the happiest times with her husband were spent leading Yale groups on educational travel. Shirley's efforts were deeply appreciated by the Yale community and in 1995 she and Howard jointly received the Yale Medal for their stellar service to the University. Friends are the family you choose was certainly true for Shirley. Her strong friendships thrived including with Margaret DeVane, Betsy Welch (deceased), Avril Winks and Marlene Demarque. She was deeply enriched by those around her and the feeling was reciprocal. Charitable donations may be made in memory of Shirley to the Alzheimer's Association ( or the Susan K. Lamar Scholarship Fund at the Yale University School of Nursing, c/o Yale University Development Office, 157 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510-2100.

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