Stanley Lamberg was a romantic with a big smile, a man whose Northport dental office served for years as the town's social hub, his family said, a place where people without appointments would gather just to chat.
Lamberg, also a seasoned sailor and an accomplished bridge player, died April 9. He was 91.
He was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on March 15, 1923. His early years were spent in a "beautiful" home with a comfortable life, his wife, Carolyn, said, but after the stock market crash in 1929, his father left the family and moved to Illinois.
Lamberg, his mother and brother, Paul, spent the next years moving around Brooklyn. Lamberg, always the smart student in class, entered kindergarten at age 4, graduated from Boys High School at age 15 and then attended Brooklyn College, his wife said.
During World War II, he was drafted and worked as a mechanic for the Army, serving in the Philippines and Europe. "He was so good at mechanics," Carolyn Lamberg said. "He could take a whole diesel truck apart and put it together -- this is before he knew how to drive."
Lamberg left the Army after the war and, with the help of the GI Bill, graduated from the New York University College of Dentistry in 1951, the same year he and Carolyn got married -- for the second time.
"The first time, we had eloped -- we didn't tell anybody," she said. When their families found out, "All hell broke loose, and so we had another wedding, which made it official because my parents were there."
Carolyn, 84, called her husband a true romantic.
They met as counselors at an upstate summer camp when he was 25 and she was in her late teens and, though she wasn't quite ready to settle down, Lamberg wrote her constant love letters "to persuade me to marry him," she said.
After Lamberg finished dental school, the young family moved to the North Shore, where they raised their two children, Steven and Kate, and eventually settled down in Northport.
Lamberg retired from his Main Street dental practice in the mid-1990s, and his son took the reins.
In a memorial speech about his father, Steven Lamberg, who also lives in Northport, painted a picture of a man who lived richly and loved Northport, James Bond movies, sailing adventures, eating all kinds of food, sculpting and making pancakes for his family.
"He was always a model of humility," Steven Lamberg wrote.
Stanley Lamberg had a heart attack and was in a Boca Raton, Fla., hospital when he died, his wife said. His ashes were spread on the Long Island Sound by his family.
In addition to his wife and son, Lamberg is survived by his daughter, Kate of Port Jefferson.