Robert (Bob) Bruce Lamb, PhD
Robert (Bob) Bruce Lamb, PhD, completed his adventure here on Earth on October 11, 2020, by rejoining our Creator, along at last with his family and friends who passed before him. He was known by several nicknames: Dr. Bob, Robert, Bob, Railroad Robbie, Dr. Lamb, PhD., Dad. There are stories for each nickname. Having been raised in New York, “Dr. Bob” credited Dr. Charles Wright for introducing him in the 1960’s to the beauty of the Upper Peninsula. He said it was love at first sight, decided to live here, and set up his mental health practice in several locations. He chose to become a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist because he wanted to help teach people life-long skills to enhance their life, not resort to drugs. He helped scores of people navigate the challenges of their lives with compassion and wisdom. He sought to remind them of the good things about themselves. He wanted people to live satisfying lives.
In addition to offering essential insights, “Dr. Bob’s “powerful expressiveness could open people to vulnerability, healing, and laughter! Many people approached him over the years and positively commented on how he changed their lives. That always touched him deeply. He also had a deep love and understanding of dogs and their vital role in therapy. Dr. Bob nearly always had dog companions in his life and in his practice. In the last year, he lost both of his beautiful black Belgian sheepdogs, Dancer and Dixie, to old age. Friend or client, once you met him, you never forgot him! He was a friendly, caring man, as well as intense and creative.
He had a natural way to help people to feel good about themselves. His listening skills and vivid, detailed memory were superb; his understanding was palpable to his clients and friends. If you told Robert something he thought was funny, he gifted you with his hearty, contagious laugh. His speaking voice was calming, soothing, easy on the ears. His communication style was to say something in a tactful way.
“Bob” enjoyed comedy, particularly Red Skelton. This motivated “Railroad Robbie” to attend Clown College at the UW La Crosse and become a professional clown. He clowned around the world with Bill Waters (from Marquette), including a clowning trip in 2003 on the famed Trans Siberian Railroad in Russia with the renowned “Patch Adams” of movie fame.
A Life-long Learner, Dr. Lamb, PhD, enjoyed learning new things of various topics and finding a way to apply that information into his life and for his clients. Robert was always happy to read a book; his Mom taught him that. He surrounded himself with a huge library of books of all subjects, ranging from western novels to quantum physics, and he would easily engage in lively conversations about the books of Eric Butterworth, Eckhart Tolle, or Brian Weiss, M.D. But, if you borrowed him a book, you had to remind him to not write his thoughts and doodles in it! Because of his insatiable thirst for knowledge, he possessed a phenomenal vocabulary. He was fearless in letting you know the proper usage and pronunciation of words misused. Webster’s would have been proud! Music was a major component of his life. Railroad Robbie taught himself to play his guitar and played for live audiences in his graduate school days. He enjoyed listening to and playing all kinds of music. Joyfully singing with his rich baritone voice, he would spontaneously sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” upon request, or just quietly played his treasured Martin guitar. He actively helped veterans with mental health.
Bob’s personal interests and passions included spending time at his beloved A-frame in Michigamme, creating stained glass works of art, oil painting, writing his novel, riding on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and spending time with his adorable dogs. As much as Robert enjoyed spending time with his clients, family, and friends, he truly savored his time alone for introspection, relaxation, and renewal. He also enjoyed learning about other cultures.
One of his favorite trips was to see Machu Picchu, Peru. Another fun trip was a Harley ride along the Mississippi River Road with Bill Waters, riding from La Crosse, Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri exploring the villages, museums, pubs and landmarks along the way. Landmarks like the cable car in Dubuque, Iowa. Bill says he’ll never forget how delighted Bob was to ride it! Robert’s spiritual quest was a very important and prominent part of his life. He made sure to mindfully meditate every single day, and ultimately found peace in his journey.
While everything written above helps to describe Robert, nothing can capture the essence of this man whose authenticity and charisma touched everyone who had the good fortune to meet him. No matter what nickname, he will be remembered, and his laughter will continue to ring for those who heard it.
Dr. Lamb is survived by his daughter, Meisha Lamb and his son, Aaron Lamb.
In lieu of flowers, please spend time on your personal health.
Fassbender Swanson Hanson Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhansen.com