Bernard John Lambert, Jr. “Big B”, “Juny” and “Coach”. Completed his journey and smiled upon seeing the face of the Lord. He was given the name of “Hokshina Waste”, which means “Good Boy.” Bernard was a very modest, humble man who departed from his beloved wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, family and friends on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at Northeastern Montana Health Services in Poplar, MT.
Bernard was born June 10, 1948, the eldest son of Bernard “Barney” Lambert, Sr. and Sybil (Bighorn) Lambert. He spent his life growing up in Blair, Box Elder and Brockton areas and summers in other locations, wherever Barney was working construction.
He graduated high school from Brockton High School in 1966 where he excelled in sports mainly basketball. He was a member of the 1966 Boys’ Basketball team along with his cousins. “Juny” and his cousin Fred “Buster” Bighorn were named “All-Conference, All-District, Divisional and All-State” teams. This amazing team was the District and Divisional Champions and then was Consolation Champions at State.
After high school graduation, he attended Bacone Junior College in Oklahoma and then later going on to Eastern Montana College in Billings, MT. He worked for the Fort Peck Tribes a short time and in 1976, he went back to college to complete his education. He completed his Bachelors’ of Science in Education with a minor in Physical Education/Coaching at Northern Montana College. He was awarded 2 scholarships to pursue his education at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. In 1985, he graduated with his Master’s Degree in Education in General School Administration.
Bernard began his teaching career in Wanblee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, doing what he loved doing, teaching kids and coaching basketball. He taught at other schools over the years at Busby on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Frazer on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Rocky Boy on the Rocky Boy Reservation, Lodge Grass on the Crow Reservation, Hays-Lodgepole on the Fort Belknap Reservation, where he started his administrative duties. In 1996, he became the Superintendent of the Brockton Schools. He not only taught at the schools, but he also coached Girls’ and/or Boys’ basketball. He always said he had some amazingly talented athletes. He was especially so proud of his daughter, Kayla.
Bernard coached the Lodge Grass Girls’ Basketball team in the 1991/1992 season, which was the first time they had made it to the State Class B tournament, taking 4th place. He also coached Hays-Lodgepole Boys’ Basketball team in the 1993/1994 season, taking 4th place at the State Class C tournament, which was the first time they had made it to state. He always called them “his boys”. He coached the Brockton Warriors Girls’ Basketball team during the years 1999-2002, making it to the State Class C tournament, taking 4th place.
During his years of coaching at the Hays-Lodgepole schools, he was nominated for “Coach of the Year”. He was also selected by the Montana Indian Education Association “Educator of the Year”. He used to say “Geez, I can never get passed that 4th place.”
In his younger days, he enjoyed going hunting with his dad, brothers, and cousins and always looked forward to the annual elk hunting trip. Playing softball was another big sporting event he enjoyed, traveling to different tournaments around the state, North Dakota and South Dakota.
In recent years, he enjoyed watching Sports Center and CNN keeping updated on all the current events and always doing crossword puzzles. He absolutely loved watching his grandchildren play sports and participating in pow-wows. He would sit and record them dancing. They always danced their hearts out for their papa.
His numerous nieces and nephews would love to sit with him and ask questions and it always resulted in a lengthy historical explanation or family stories. He was a knowledgeable man with lots of wisdom. His stories and memories will live on with his family and friends.
Bernard is survived by his wife, Desiree (Kirn) Lambert of Brockton, MT. His children; Janet Lambert-Bisignani and Melissa Lambert of Syracuse, NY; Durann, Raynee, Kaycee Lambert of Brockton, MT; Kayla (Caitlyn) and Jayce (Tory) Lambert of Poplar, MT. He also cared for Casey Weston and Tyson Bauer as his own. He also had a special place in his heart for his Bighorn cousins and Lambert family and making special memories with them all.
He is blessed with many grandchildren; “Little” Janet Vixtha of Syracuse, NY; Carter, Weston, Toby, Trysten, Ivey, Gracie, Jasalyn of Brockton, MT and Laniaya of Bishop, CA and our baby Jessa Lambert of Poplar, MT. Great-Grandchildren; Domick and Amelia Simmons of Syracuse, NY.
His sisters Bernadine Pease of Billings, MT; Sue (Val) Parker of Wolf Point, MT; brother Ernest (Tammy) Lambert of Belcourt, ND; his sister-in-law Marshelle Lambert of Billings, MT, brother-in-law Tony Enemy Hunter of Billings, MT and brother-in-law Sammy Nygard of Brockton, MT.
He was especially close to his nieces and nephews; Toni Lee Enemy Hunter of Billings, MT; Tina (Frank) Headswift of Lame Deer, MT; Lana (Lars) Lambert-Mikkelsen of Brockton, MT; Danelle (Melvin) Wetsit of Sturgis, SD; Maurie (AJ) Lambert of Billings, MT; John (Star) Nygard and Jana Nygard of Brockton, MT; Kelly Lambert of Poplar, MT, Erin, Jared and Brandon Lambert of Belcourt, ND and Jenny Lambert of Wolf Point, MT.
Bernard is preceded in death by his parents; Sybil and Barney Lambert, his father and mother-in-law; Betty and Albert Kirn, Sr.; his brother, Maurice “Moose” Lambert and his sisters; Tammy (Lambert) Nygard and Annette “Ann” Lambert and his niece, Jessica (Parker) Renville.
A Prayer service will be held on Friday, June 7th, 2019 at the Brockton School Gymnasium at 7:00 PM. Funeral Services will be on Saturday, June 8th, 2019 also at the Brockton School Gymnasium at 1:00 PM. Interment will follow at the Riverview Cemetery in Brockton, MT.