Nicolas "Nick" Lambert
Sunday past, Carole Chan lost a husband of 18 years; Madeline, Emile and Frederique lost their loving father; and our community lost a friend, a neighbourhood activist, and a deceptively good runner. Charlene (Steve) and Jean (BrendaLee) a son, Lisa, a brother.
Montagu said "The idea is to die young as late as possible". At the age of 47 years, Nick, as he was known to his friends, didn’t quite get it right.
This witty and brilliant young man certainly left his mark in the short time we had with him. We should all be so fortunate. Truly a man of the world, he spent early years in Ottawa and studied at Université de Strasbourg, the London School of Economics and McGill University, where he received his doctorate in law. Said to have met his equally brilliant bride, Carole, on a street corner while they were attending McGill, Moncton became a home for this young couple.
The Faculté de droit, Université de Moncton was lucky to snare this fresh mind, whose expertise in administrative and contract law left a mark on many local members of the bar and countless students. Balancing Carole’s respectively significant legal career and community service, and life with three beautiful children – Nick still managed to squeeze in frequent trips to the YMCA and long runs with pals. Whether he was doing a speed run with the Boston crew or pushing a jogging stroller, he logged many miles along New Brunswick’s beautiful trails and shorelines.
Amused friends, who may have had considerable doubt as to whether Nick knew what he was doing, watched as he grew into fatherhood – a role at which he quickly excelled and made his own. The image of inseparability, Nick could often be seen with one child hanging from his left arm, the other on his shoulder and the youngest wrapped around his leg. They climbed him like a tree!
The value of playing outdoors and going on simple excursions as a family would prove to be the lesson the Lambert / Chan team shared with others. A glance through their social media posts shows their relish for the great coastlines and adventures of New Brunswick. Learning through escapades and explorations, life’s teachable moments are found in unstructured time with children. Nick’s approach to teaching the law was similar, and he is remembered by peers and students for the passion he brought to the classroom, his capacity for critical thinking and his ability to engage students. Let’s not forget his considerable informed opinions on what a vibrant city should look like!
Nick brought the same qualities to his friendships. When speaking with Nick, you got the sense that he was really listening, not merely waiting for his turn to speak. Always showing genuine interest in the person across the table. He did not impose upon his friends and asked for nothing. I recall the end of the PEI marathon a few years back when Nick and few friends showed up randomly to offer support. Leaving the Emerald Isle, Nick jumped up and said, "Take a seat Pat, I will drive you home." He did not have to work at being a friend – it came naturally.
Safe travels good friend, your family will be embraced by the spirit of your adoptive home. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. You will live on through your children. Rest in peace.
A private funeral service will be celebrated on Tuesday December 15 at 11:00 AM, but virtual participation is available on Nick’s obituary on Frenette’s website (below) and is very welcome. A celebration of life will be held at a later date, when we are able to gather safely and share the joyful memories we have of our dear Nick. In the meantime, the family also encourages you to enjoy a craft beer or a nice glass of Alsatian wine on December 6, Saint Nicolas’ Day.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada in memory of Nicolas Lambert or to a fund for the future education of his children (please call the funeral centre at 858-1900 for more information). Funeral arrangements are in the professional care of Frenette Funeral and Cremation Center, Moncton.
Words of comfort and donations may be made at www.frenettefuneralhome.com