Hey, Spike! remembers local NFL great Chuck Lamson | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! remembers local NFL great Chuck Lamson

This illustration by Hank Parker captures Chuck Lamson’s colorful spirit. Hank often used Chuck as a model.

They don't make the Chuck Lamson model anymore.

Thoughts of Chuck — for those fortunate enough to have known him — bring a flood of fond memories of this star high school and collegiate athlete who played in the NFL before settling in Silverthorne to manage a ranch with gentleness.

From Iowa to Wyoming, then to the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles before ending his seven-year professional football career with the Los Angeles Rams, Chuck's exploits on the field — and later in the pasture — are being told and re-told.

Chuck and his wonderful wife Mimi had left Silverthorne and Randy Winegard's Running W ranch to return to Evergreen when his health started to slip.

He died Nov. 23, allowing him to again soar, throw the football, and tackle opponents, his smile completing those offense and defense tasks.

The accompanying illustration by his longtime friend Hank Parker captures Chuck's colorful spirit. Hank often used Chuck as a model.

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"There are no words to describe Chuck's impact on his many friends and family. He was a very unique person. Smart, loyal, funny, extremely loving and generous," reads his Denver Post obit.

Charles Watt Lamson was born March 14, 1939, in Webster City, Iowa.

Spike! posted Chuck's obituary on Facebook, drawing many comments of a great guy.

Here are just a few of those:

Big Jim Conder —

"Chuck was a silent victim of the brutality of NFL head injuries. I had the honor of playing music for him monthly with the indomitably loyal Mimi at his side. He loved hearing the Wyoming fight song, 'Ragtime Cowboy Joe,' and always smiled that wide smile when we recalled for him his time in Summit County and especially the Old Dillon Inn. Sad to see that he passed; but glad that his struggle and Mimi's vigil are finally done."

Kathy Eakins Jones —

"I remember when he had his mountain croquet party and everyone had to ride a handmade cow head on a stick. So much fun. He and Mimi were wonderful people. I'm sure he is up there fishing with Mark (Jones)."

Tor Brunvand —

"One of the great guys is gone. We'll miss you, Chuck."

Mark Bernie Murphy:

"Chuck was the best of the best. 'Make sure you smile at the horses' were his instructions whenever Chris and I watched their place and did chores for them. RIP, Chuck, you are sorely missed, sir."

Bill Hanes —

"Chuck was certainly unique. I'm guessing he's with Buddy (Nicholson) about now having a final-final."

Back in Iowa, at Ames High School, Chuck was the football team leader, playing quarterback and defense, graduating in 1957.

The son of legendary football coach Bob Lamson, Chuck built his own resume as an Iowa State University Cyclone. In a game against the University of Oklahoma, Chuck made 76 percent of the team's tackles, earning him national recognition, recalled his fellow Ames High alum Jim Covey.

"Some years later he (Chuck) showed me some of his scars and wounds. I asked if he would do it again, and his answer was 'in a heartbeat.'"

Chuck left Iowa State for the University of Wyoming Cowboys for his last two years of college football. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame there in 2010.

"He played two years on both sides of the ball for the Cowboys — as quarterback and linebacker, and earned All-American recognition," Jim noted after the high school's 50th class reunion.

Chuck's obit details tell more of the story:

"He graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1961. Chuck had a long and distinguished athletic career. Among his collegiate awards were Honorable Mention All-America in 1960 and 1961, Unanimous All-Conference Selection, Sports Illustrated 'Back of the Week' in 1961, Best Student Athlete in 1962 and was named the captain of the football team in 1961. All of these awards were earned playing quarterback and safety. Chuck was drafted by the (first-year) Minnesota Vikings in 1961 and played in the NFL for seven years, for the Vikings and the Los Angeles Rams as a defensive back. He retired in 1968."

With the Rams, Chuck played defense with his best friend, Claude Crabb, and they were joined by Merlin Olsen.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mimi Wolfe Lamson; son Michael (Sherie), grandson Jeremy, all of San Diego; son Gregory, granddaughter Alicia, and grandson Dillon of Irvine, California. He is also survived by brother Jim (Cindy) of Des Moines, and many nieces and nephews, in-laws and out-laws. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Mary Killebrew; and that beloved cow Molly.

Chuck had requested no service, but donations may be made to: Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Rd., Kanab, Utah 84741, or Alzheimer's Association of Colorado, 455 Sherman St., Suite 500, Denver, CO 80203.

Visit http://www.EvergreenMemorialPark.com to write a condolence to the family.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com