John David "Dave" Lambert, 82, of Prospect Park, a former teacher and computer programmer who volunteered with a crisis hotline for 25 years, died of myelodysplasia leukemia Monday at Taylor Hospice in Ridley Park.
Mr. Lambert grew up in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and earned a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University. He served in the Army in Belgium during World War II and then in the Army Reserve for more than 20 years before retiring as a major.
After active military duty, Mr. Lambert was a copywriter in the advertising department at Sun Oil Co. In the 1960s, he taught in Philadelphia junior high schools and then taught math and science at Collingdale High School for several years. From the early 1970s until his retirement in the late 1980s, he was a computer programmer at the Pennsylvania Savings Fund Society in Philadelphia.
Last year, Mr. Lambert published
Glovebox Joke Circus
, a book of jokes, riddles and nonsense. He loved to laugh, said his son, Jack, but he showed his serious and compassionate side when answering phones for the Contact Greater Philadelphia hotline. He offered comfort to distressed callers, his son said, and was a good listener. Mr. Lambert also volunteered with the Loaves and Fishes food pantry in Prospect Park.
He and his wife, Carolyn Rose Lambert, were married for 54 years. They enjoyed vacations at the Jersey Shore and logged 150 camping trips. She died in 2004.
In addition to his son, Mr. Lambert is survived by a daughter, Kathleen Stillman; three brothers; five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.