Cover photo for William Lamar Cameron's Obituary
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William Lamar Cameron

October 3, 1929 — March 26, 2024

Valdosta, GA

   William Lamar Cameron departed from this Earth and moved on to be with Jesus and Mema on March 26, 2024. (1929-2024) 

   A lifelong Valdosta resident, Lamar spent the majority of his 94 years in the Bemiss community where he graciously treated everyone as a neighbor. He loved the Lord and grew up attending Cherry Creek Baptist Church for most of his youth, Tifton First Baptist for some years, and latter years at Charity Baptist. He actively participated in a weekly small group Bible study and fellowship where he often enjoyed a potluck meal and good conversation. He also enjoyed visits from various local Pastors that checked in on him frequently.  

   Lamar had an adventurous upbringing and often shared great memories of his childhood days & often spoke of his time raising “white faced Hereford cows” for FFA and working on the farm of his Grandfather John Studstill. Lamar’s father Joseph Cameron passed in 1944 and at that time Lamar was 14 years old and his brother Donald was 15 and they both learned the hard way about being the man of the house. Both brothers took on multiple jobs to support the household and began learning about overcoming difficult times and caring for his mother and others. 

   At an early age Lamar met Geraldine Hutchinson while attending church at Cherry Creek Baptist Church and they were eventually married there in 1953 by Pastor Neal Wilson. Not too far down their road together in 1954 they had their first daughter Deborah Whittington (Bill). Then just a few short years later in 1958 came the second daughter Beverly Thaxton (Eddy). Not too many more years down the road Lamar became a grandfather in 1976. At that time Lamar earned and forever lived up to the title of, “Papa.” This was not only who he was, this was what he was to so many people who also needed a Papa. In like manner, Geraldine became what she was to so many, “Mema.” This was not only who she was, this also was what she was. They became this to all they encountered.

   Mema’s father Ivey Hutchinson passed in 1977 and at that time she and Papa learned quickly about caring for the Hutchinson farm. Papa then became the patriarch of the family and together they cared for the family with the absolute utmost care. Together they tended the farm with the best use of the land thru conservation & preservation. In 1992 Mema’s mother Cleo passed on and joined her husband, Ivey. Mema then became the matriarch of the family in the very place she grew up and where she learned so much about life. 

   Papa was highly intelligent & a self-taught man. He loved to read and study. He graduated at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) where he earned as he would say, “some type of degree in agriculture”. In addition, he also successfully completed the Georgia Real Estate Commission Salesperson and Certification and Master Tree Farmer certification from the Southern Forestry Service combined with University of Clemson and University of Georgia.

   Papa had a diverse work career. He would often tell stories of his early years working. Work ranging from being a farm hand in field crops such as tobacco, cotton, and watermelons. Later an overnight watchman at an ice cream plant where he was known on occasion to allow his friends inside after hours for an ice cream sampling. He was drafted into the US Army alongside his brother Donald during the Korean Conflict. He had all sorts of stories about being a car repo man where often Mema accompanied him on the ride for “supervision”. The US Postal Service is where he finally made his career in various capacities to include Post Master. The job he loved far more than all the others combined was farming. From once upon a time with row crops with a mule and plow, to pecan trees that were once worked by hand until machinery could be afforded, to a variety of pine tree species; His blood, sweat, tears, failures, sacrifices, and successes all while working from can to can’t on the farm. Throughout his life his hands were never too far away from agriculture where he worked the hardest, earned the least, and learned the most about life. Often seen in his official trademark work uniform, the forever classic red Dickies one-piece short sleeve jumpsuit. The lessons that he learned primarily thru trial and error is what led him on a continued quest for knowledge regarding conservation and yielded results and best use practices for farming and helping others. 

   Papa was a family man. He loved each and every child, grandchild, and great grandchild and all other “stragglers” as he would say that needed a meal or a place to be to feel like family during holidays. Together Papa & Mema went to countless ball games, dance recitals, archery shoots, hog shows, baby deliveries, birthday parties, doctor appointments, or whatever else that was remotely mentioned to them…they were there “with bells on” as Mema would say. For many years they frequently went to Ray’s Millpond almost every Saturday night at 5:30, this of course was to “beat the crowd.” Sunday afternoons were designed to “visit the sick and ailing folks” and together they would make their “rounds.” Papa always drove and Mema always delivered home-made candy or chocolate that after someone took a bite or three she would jokingly say “I put ex-lax in that.” 

   Married in 1953, for 68 years through thick or thin, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, they were together, never apart until the passing of Geraldine in 2021. 

   Papa was an avid reader and outstanding writer. He has hundreds of stories printed about friends, family, work, and life experiences. He often shared these writings with visitors. 

   Papa loved daily Kabota wagon rides thru the woods to inspect everything and especially taking people on rides with him and explaining the ecosystem that he helped create. This was one of his and Mema’s favorite thing to do together. He would often stop and pick up his grand dog Tinsley who would be anxiously waiting for a stroll with Papa.   

   Perhaps one of his most favorite things that he looked forward to was the yearly control burn of the farm. He would spend weeks preparing with plowing breaks, servicing water tanks, and monitoring weather conditions. He loved to see the day come and loved to see the new vegetations in the days after the burn.

    Most everyone that knew Lamar Cameron only knew him as Papa. Prior to the passing of Mema, they were never ever seen apart from one another...always together. 

   Papa was proceeded in death by his wife Geraldine Hutchinson Cameron. His parents Joseph and Irma Cameron. His brother Donald Cameron. Papa leaves two daughters - Deborah (Bill) Whittington & Beverly (Eddy) Thaxton. Five grandchildren – Chris (Stacy) Kendrick, Michelle (Roy) Burkett, Zack (Dr. Jennifer) Kendrick, J. W. (Mariah) Thaxton, Paul (Kim) Thaxton. Ten great grandchildren – Zoe & Ivy Kendrick, Brooks & Baylee Burkett, Wyatt & Kyle Kendrick, Eli, Wade, Luke, and Spencer-on-the-way Thaxton. They’re many other “stragglers” who also claimed him as their Papa. 

   The family would like to give a special thanks to the caregivers during Papa’s last season here – Latanzia Copeland, Vivian Thomkins, John, Eileen & Noah Jenkins, Sally Richardson, Lanora Wade, Edie Allen. We also appreciate the staff at Hospice of South Georgia for all the outstanding care given. 

   Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in the chapel of Carson McLane Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 1-2pm, service to follow at 2 pm, graveside immediately following at Cat Creek Cemetery. Pastor Rodney Tenery to conduct services.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice of South Georgia.

Online condolences may be shared at www.mclanecares.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Lamar Cameron, please visit our flower store.

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Visitation

Saturday, March 30, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Interment

Saturday, March 30, 2024

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Cat Creek Primitive Baptist Cemetery

Cat Creek Road
Valdosta, GA 31605

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