First Responders 04
Official Obituary of

F. Joel Lamphear

March 9, 1951 ~ March 12, 2024 (age 73) 73 Years Old

F. Joel Lamphear Obituary

F. Joel Lamphear, 73, of Raquette Lake died suddenly of a heart attack while doing what he loved; in a place he called home, with a best friend alongside.  

Joel was born March 9, 1951 to the late Frank and Doris (Murray) Lamphear, and was the oldest of their 7 children.  He grew up in Raquette Lake and graduated Valedictorian from Indian Lake Central School in 1969.  He went on to Clarkson University for two years and then took a break spending 2 winters in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He returned to finish his studies at SUNY Oswego, where he received a Bachelors in Science.  

Joel married Mary D’Avignon in Newcomb on November 26, 1976.  After living and working in NYC, in early October of 1977, they decided to load up their 1965 Chevy van with all of their belongings (even including their ironing board) and head out west to find work.  Nearly running out of money in November they decided to spend the winter in Salt Lake City, find work, save some money and then return to New York in the spring.  

But God had a different plan…Joel was hired by the Salt Lake City Fire Department in April 1978, where he became affectingly known as “Frenchy”.  Joel retired as Captain from the SLCFD in April of 1998.  Joel also owned “Joel’s Motor and Marine” repairing countless engines in his “spare” time while in Utah.

While Joel and Mary began their family in Salt Lake City, their desire was for their two sons to finish growing up in Raquette Lake, where Joel had built the family a log home which was another proof of his countless abilities.   Joel continued to work full time during his first retirement – and finally retired in April of 2020.  These past almost 4 years Joel quickly earned another name of “MacGyver” because of the inventions he made from repurposing the treasures he found at the “dump”.  

Joel also enjoyed years of motorcycling with Mary…each on their own Harleys traveling much of the USA and Canada, with their last big trip to Newfoundland.  Joel loved to trap in his youth…learning so much about the Adirondacks from his father. He looked forward to fishing bullheads every year…and enjoyed hunting in the fall at the “Camp” with the guys. Joel also enjoyed golf, and more recently pickleball. 

Joel was never called a slacker, and he certainly filled the “dash” between 1951-2024..only his family and friends just wish there were more years in that dash. But they are also at peace knowing Joel now has all the answers to his deep, random thoughts…

Of all the names, from son, brother, friend, husband, father, firefighter, mechanic, Frenchy, to MacGyver...Joel’s most loved name was Papa.  

Besides his parents, two friends, who were like a brother and sister, Rob Miltz and Maureen Regan, predeceased him.   Left to cherish Joel’s memory are his wife, Mary, of Newcomb; sons, RJ (Michelle) of Riverton, Utah and Tyler (Amanda) of Newcomb.  He also is Papa to his cherished grandchildren Camden, Bentley and Ellie Lamphear all of Newcomb; and Lexee and Zach Elting of Utah and Idaho. Brothers Don, Murray (Karen), Craig and Brian; Sisters Jane and Paula (Ed); a special cousin Billy Jones and his precious family of Sauquoit; many cousins, nephews and nieces.   Joel was loved and will be missed by many, many friends, especially Don Hicks, Tim Dillon, Jack Regan, Jim Dillon and Jim “Turbo” Regan.  

There will be a celebration of Joel’s life on June 15, 2024 at 1:00 pm at his home in Raquette Lake.  Donations in Joel’s memory can be made to the Raquette Lake Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 160, Raquette Lake, NY 13436.  


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Celebration of Life
June 15, 2024

1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Raquette Lake
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins


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