OREGON – Lamont Charles Gaston of Oregon passed away from Picks disease the 17th of September, 2021 at the age of 76 years. Dearly missed by his family and friends, he is remembered as larger than life and remains forever in our hearts.
Lamont was born in Rockford on March 30, 1945 to Archie and Irene (Law) Gaston. He grew up in both Oregon and Mount Morris, and graduated Mt. Morris High School in 1963. A talented athlete and avid sports fan, Lamont lettered in football, basketball, and track during high school. Years later, he refereed boys’ and girls’ high school sports. Lamont attended both Highland and Carthage College.
He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1964. While proudly serving his country, Lamont was wounded in Vietnam and returned home to work as a photo engraver at Kable Printing Company, raise a family, and fulfill his dream of owning a family campground. He built Lake LaDonna Family Campground in 1969 and opened it in 1974. Lamont owned and operated "the Lake" for over 30 years, and only sold it after he could no longer continue running it. Lamont dedicated his life to providing a place where families could spend quality time together, camping, swimming, and creating lifelong memories. He built one of the first Vietnam War Memorials and dedicated his park to the men and women who served their country during the Vietnam War.
Lamont also provided leadership to many organizations including union president at Kable Printing Company, as an Ogle County board member, and as the president of Vietnow. Often working with Heads of State in Washington D.C., Lamont advocated for veteran issues like POW/MIA's, V.A. rights and homelessness, hunger and suicides in the veteran community. He was officially recognized by the Order of Saint John's Knights of Malta and ceremoniously knighted in Washington DC for his acts guidance, leadership, generosity, and support in veteran affairs.
Among of his favorite pastimes, Lamont loved Chicago Bears’ games, family vacations, telling stories, laughing with friends, or just taking a nap.
Lamont married Donna Toney of Mt. Morris, 1968 - 1975 and had two children, Stephen and Jennifer. He married Elizabeth George of Mt. Morris, Illinois 1978 - 1991 and had two children, Chad and Lindsey. His marriage to Veronica Wolbers of Davenport, Iowa took place in 1999 and gave him two step-children, Josh Wolbers and Adam Wolbers.
Lamont was preceded in death by his mother, Irene Law Gaston and father Archie Gaston.
He is survived by his wife, Veronica Gaston, his two sons: Stephen (Erin) Gaston, Chad (Tracy) Gaston; his two daughters: Jennifer (Bryan) Morrison, and Lindsey Gaston; his two step sons: Josh Wolbers and Adam (Meghan) Wolbers; his four grandchildren: Zachary, Gia, Jack, and Cole; his three step grandchildren: Grace, Neil, and Evelyn; two sisters: Diana Williams, and Camille (Rob) Thomsett; two nephews; Michael and Ben and niece, Amelia.
A celebration of Lamont’s life will be held at a later date. Burial will be at Lawnridge Cemetery in Rochelle. Visit www.ungerhorner.com to sign the online guest book.