Office for the Aging


Albany County Honorees

Reverend Robert C. Lamar Reverend Robert C. Lamar was born in Utah and raised in Colorado and Kansas. As a graduate of Yale College and the Yale Divinity School, he served several congregations in Connecticut before moving to Albany in 1958 to serve as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, where he served for 34 years, retiring as Pastor Emeritus in 1992. He also served as Executive Director of the Capital Area Council of Churches until 200l.

Dr. Robert Lamar has dedicated his life to service in the Capital Region. Since moving to Albany he has continuously served in the church and community. His volunteer service includes membership and board of directorship with more than 20 local organizations. Dr. Lamar has spent countless hours and worked tirelessly on social issues in the region. Groups and organizations include General Assembly Special Committee on Segregated Synods and Presbyteries, North American Area Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, Joint Committee on Presbyterian Union, Jewish-Christian Dialogue Committee-RCDA, Capital Region Ecumenical Organization, Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, South Mall Towers, Albany Rotary Club, Albany-Tula Alliance, Urban League of Albany, Interfaith Better Homes Development Corporation, Blue Cross of NENY, Colonie Senior Service Centers, Inc., Christians United in Mission, Abba House of Prayer, Jewish-Christian Institute, Siena College, Equinox, Chapel House at SUNY, and Sidney Albert Lecture Series of the College of St. Rose.

Dr. Lamar began volunteering with Colonie Senior Service Centers (CSSC) because "It is important that seniors be aware of the programs and services available to them. Our culture tends to stereotype seniors and define who they are and how they are expected to act. We need to advocate for their needs and work together to reach out to more seniors so they can remain healthy and keep their independence."

According to Dr. Lamar, one of the most rewarding aspects of his work with CSSC is the Osteoporosis Wellness Program started by his wife Marion. "It is a marvelous program that serves as a model for others. So many participants in the classes are feeling better about themselves and staying active."

Visit NYSOFA's 2014 Senior Day page for a complete list of awardees.

Mary ShermanA lifelong resident of New York State, Mary Sherman was born and raised in Buffalo's rural area, before she moved to Albany's rural area in 1969. She worked as a Medical Lab Technician at Roswell Park Cancer Institute before electing to stay at home to parent her three children and help on their family farm. She also worked at the NYS Department of Taxation, the Altamont Enterprise as graphic arts designer and typesetter, Price Chopper as a deli clerk, and the US Postal Service as a Postmaster Replacement.

Mary has been volunteering for more than 40 years with various organizations and people. She makes care packages every three months for service men and woman of the Hill Towns that are overseas. During Christmas time, in addition to food and goodie packages, she makes sure each service person receives a small artificial decorated Christmas tree. She still volunteers with the Knox Fire Company Auxiliary (she started in 1973).

She is also a volunteer caregiver to a 92-year-old senior who is all alone. Mary schedules and takes the woman to doctors' appointments, bi-monthly blood transfusion appointments, and weekly grocery shopping trips as well as for weekly enjoyable social outings.

Mary started volunteering because her son's cub scout den needed a leader. She soon became very involved with the boys and at one time had 22 scouts in her den. She soon discovered how much she really enjoyed helping others and passing on some of her knowledge and also learning from others.

Mary says that her greatest reward from volunteering has been bringing her family closer together. They all now volunteer regularly for one project or another; which has made them all respect each other and those that they are helping. It brings joy to her life helping those less fortunate.

Visit NYSOFA's 2014 Senior Day page for a complete list of awardees.