What is Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss?

Death and grief are common human experiences, yet these experiences tend to be different for every individual. As a result, Hamilton's Academy of Grief & Loss offers a wide variety of resources available to you and your family as you begin to work through your grief.
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Academy of Grief and Loss
Academy Events

Academy Events

Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss offers a variety of services to educate, support and connect with those who are grieving.
Community Events

Community Events

Hamilton's Funeral Homes host a variety of events to serve and give back to our community.

Service Details


Sunday, April 23, 2017
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Hamilton's Altoona Funeral Home
105 4th Street SW


Monday, April 24, 2017
2:00 pm
Hamilton's Altoona Funeral Home
105 4th Street SW


Lowman Cemetery


Hamilton's Altoona Funeral Home
105 Fourth Street SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009
(515) 967-4272

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Marlene Lambert

A special article in the Saturday, November 14th, 1936 Des Moines Register announced Marlene Louise McDuffey's birth the previous day on Friday the 13th, at the 13th minute of the 13th hour, and predicted that black cats, broken mirrors, and other bad luck omens would hold little fear for her. That forecast proved to be correct. Her life of easy laughter, infinite love, and example of courage and strength under any circumstance are among the greatest gifts that she engraved in the lives of her three children, nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, as well as many members of her extended family.

Her childhood was spent on the east side of Des Moines with her siblings and parents as well as cousins from Runnells. At East High school, Marlene enjoyed competitive swimming which later led to her teaching swimming lessons to children as an adult. Upon graduating, she married Mel Lambert and quickly began her journey as a mother, her passion beyond all others. Over the years, she mastered her career as a homemaker and enjoyed many hobbies such as traveling, bowling, bluegrass and folk music, and cooking. Her confident, hospitable, and compassionate personality was highly valued when she began her career as a nurse at the age of 50. Being a caretaker was something she did easily and with excellence. Whether it was caring for a new baby in the family, her mother, her husband, her grandchildren or others, she did it with great pride and joy.

Marlene knew how to have fun at all stages and ages of her life. Many of those fun times involved two of her favorites, a cheeseburger and a Bud Light. However, nothing could compare to the enjoyment she got from spending time with her family and friends. Each holiday and birthday she eagerly welcomed as an opportunity to gather with her beloved family, and provide a delicious meal that she meticulously prepared to perfection. The countless memories made around her dinner table are cherished beyond measure.

A strong Irish heritage was something Marlene proudly displayed and held close to her heart. She marveled at the beauty of the Irish land and became captivated by its vibrant sounds and the rich culture from which her ancestors originated. Equally as important as where she came from is the legacy she leaves behind. It is one of honor, pride, love and magnificence that engulfs the hearts of those who loved her, love her still and always will love her. May the number 13 forever remind them of the many blessings from having shared their lives with Marlene Louise Lambert.

Marlene was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Mel Lambert, parents John and Peggy McDuffey, her brother John McDuffey Jr., and a sister Virginia Buchholz. She is survived by a sister EJ (Ron Rosenblatt) McDuffey, her son, Mike (Beth) Lambert, her daughter Mindy (Joe) Klein, her daughter Marla (Bob) Brown, three granddaughters, six grandsons, three great granddaughters, and six great grandsons as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 5-7 PM at Hamilton’s in Altoona. Funeral service will be on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 2:00 PM also at Hamilton’s in Altoona with graveside service to follow at Lowman Cemetery in Runnells. A luncheon will be held at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona to pay respects to the family and share memories of Marlene.

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