James Lambert
Remembering a former roommate and recalling his wonderful story
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By James Lambert
June 24, 2019

I fondly remember the time during my freshman year (second semester) in college when John Parrott was my roommate at "New Dorm." I lost my previous roommate during my first semester when he decided to leave the college in 1969.

As my new roommate, John was a few years older than me. He was a friendly person and was easy to get along with. My dormitory (New Dorm) was built during the previous year (in 1968) and hadn't even been officially named by the school yet. Our dorm was surrounded by three other men's dormitory housing in the quad (Hewitt, Larsell & Anderson Halls), which were located just west of the college's football stadium.

Linfield College was established in 1859. It was named after a local minister in the early 1920s after his family donated most of the land where most of the school's classroom buildings, administrative offices, library, and housing were built on.

John was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1948. Sadly, he never knew his father due to a fatal injury incurred during his father's military training flight which occurred when John was just 2 weeks old. Because of these circumstances and others, John would become particularly close with his mother.

By 1966 John graduated from Sealth High School in Seattle, Washington, and then entered Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, during the fall of '66.

John enjoyed the company of his fellow student friends from around the college. On the weekends, John would pretty regularly take his car and cruise around the town of McMinnville (Oregon), picking up some beer or visiting some local restaurant or bar. He liked to drink during these days of his life. I also remember how much he enjoyed the music of Johnny Cash. I fondly remember the many times he would play the famous musician's albums in our room. During that (spring '69) semester, we lived on the second floor of "New Dorm." The room was located over the main entrance of our dormitory. One evening, John had a difficult time going to sleep. He became annoyed with the light that was coming into the room from the outside lamp stand (that was about 10' tall) which was located in the quad. At that moment, and to my surprise, John went into our closet and pulled out a rifle. He then shot out the bulb in the lamp stand with one quick pull of the trigger. It was a funny episode that I still remember to this day.

By the fall of '69, John had moved to another male dormitory hall on campus. Since we were now in different dormitories and had different college classes, we really didn't see each other after that one semester.

I remember last seeing John during a college homecoming event held in 1997 (over 25 years later). I didn't really get a chance to talk to him much that day. However, when John heard a (gospel) CD I was playing in my car that day, he expressed how much he liked it. With that, I was happy to give it to him. It was a wonderful compilation of gospel music by Aretha Franklin.

Little did I know that God had genuinely touched John's life a number of years earlier. From what I understand and after talking to his long-time friend, Ed Decker, John was positively influenced by his mother's commitment to her faith in Christ. According to Decker, John had become a dedicated follower of Christ prior to his missionary work in Mexico. John took on a servant's mentality and committed himself to following Christ. He expressed it by becoming a missionary to Mexico for close to 10 years in a very poor community in Mexico.

John was always good at fixing things too, especially cars. He would do this too in Mexico, becoming a handy man and assisting a poor population that surrounded him in a community in need of his services. He was heartily supported by his mother in his efforts. After serving time in Mexico, John came back to Washington and became the assistant to the Senior Pastor (Wendell Smith) of the City Church in Bellevue, WA. John also wanted to be near his recently widowed mother and ailing sister. Though John never married, he took great pride in all his nephews and sisters. Sadly, John passed away on December 27th, 2010, after a long battle with liver disease. He died only a few hours after his mother died on the same day. The good news is that they are both in Heaven today!

© James Lambert

 

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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)

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