Maurice Lee (Travis) Lamar, 90, died peacefully embraced by his family May 10, 2022. He was born December 15, 1931 in Martinsville IN to Nell (Slough) & Carl Travis. He was raised in Indianapolis & Martinsville, spending much of his youth with his beloved Great Grandparents, Ulysses & Frances (Fannie) Slough at their home/corner grocery store on Cherry St in Martinsville.
Maurice was raised by his parents side farming land on the northeast side of Indianapolis. He was known far and wide for his ebullient personality, humor, and great storytelling. He would regale his family, friends, strangers, customers, and up until his last moments, his nurses and doctors w his stories and laughter. He lived a big life full of great tales and adventures. He was born into great hardship and poverty. His parents divorcing before he was a year old. His mother eventually remarried a farmer who was also the local sheriff in Lawrence, IN. Dad grew up w a deeply woven love and respect for the land, and the circle of life. He helped his parents farm and raise animals thru the depression. The stories he told sounded like those inked in great novels and autobiographies of a world long since gone.
He joined the USMC before his 18th birthday serving during and beyond the Korean War. His service included being stationed at Mt Fuji in Japan. He loved to share about his time there. The beauty of the land, the mountain, its people and culture. He drank life in w great gusto and was an avid student until the very end.
He met our mother Alta Lillian Bertrand at the end of his service career. They married in 1960 and had 2 children. They built a Speed Queen laundromat together outside of Ft Benjamin Harrison during the Vietnam War. They added a professional plant to the laundry and created contracts w the fort. We learned about war and death, love and honor in those early years as we would help care for the Soldiers’ uniforms and flags who had been killed overseas.
Morris, or Maurie, as he was widely known was a lifelong active democrat and a member of the Masonic Lodge & Murat Shrine Temple. When we were young, our property was used as a polling place. It was a vibrant time of community. Our mother would cook thru the night to feed the poll workers and voters while brewing coffee non stop. Dad felt a deep sense of duty to vote, run for office, and voted in every election until his death. He was a lover of history and an observer of human nature & trends. He was truly a brilliant man.
Upon retirement, he entered Indiana University and pursued a 4 year degree. He graduated in the top of his class at 72 years old. He spent his final working years working for the DNR at his beloved Brown County State Park. He logged miles upon miles of walking those hills and making friends with the folks, the flora and fauna. Those were truly his happiest and healthiest years.
Dad’s greatest personal triumph was obtaining sobriety in 1993. Alcoholism and drug addiction plagued his family and ours. He met his moment the summer of ‘93, had a job with benefits that allowed him to seek treatment and he remained sober ever since. He passed away w 28 1/2 years of sobriety; thanks to his grit and his good friend Bill, the Big Book, AA, meditation and his greater power. As a result he mended relationships, graduated from college, found work that fed his soul and brought him joy and peace and was a loving, committed father, grandfather and great grandfather.
He lived a full, boisterous and bountiful life. He was extraordinarily generous, often in anonymous ways. He left this world loved and a better kinder place. His generosity of spirit lives on.
He is survived by the loves of his life … his children Walter Mercer, Vicki (Lamar) Mack (husband Chuck Mack) and Brian Lamar (wife Inna Lamar) and grandchildren Danny Mercer (wife Lisa Mercer), Josh Mercer, Lillian Mack, Joseph Mack (wife Brittany Mack), and Margaret Mack and 2 great granddaughters and 2 great grandsons.
Funeral services will be private. He is being cremated by A.R.N. Funeral & Cremation Services.
Maurice loved animals, and was a bit of an animal whisperer. He loved and supported The Appalachian Bear Rescue organization In Tennessee. If you would like to celebrate him, please donate to this precious needed organization in his name. It would delight him and fill the family with big smiles to know his memory is fostering kindness in the world.
Maurice had beautiful blue eyes and was a huge winker. Know if you get a wink or catch a star twinkling, it will be him saying thank you!
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