Lamy Center Caregiver Connection: Tribute to Rudolf B. Lamy

Written By: Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCGP, FASCP, executive director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging and professor of practice, sciences, and health outcomes research

On Jan. 29, 2024, Rudolf B. Lamy, MLS, MAS, son of former University of Maryland School of Pharmacy professor Peter P. Lamy, passed away at the age of 70.  

As executive director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging, I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of working with Rudi. One of my first goals when I took on that role was to engage the Lamy family, namely Rudi, in the activities and programs of the center named after their father.  

Rudi received his Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Administrative Science from Johns Hopkins University. He spent his career as a professional medical librarian in Baltimore and Washington, DC, and later as a professional law librarian in Annapolis. His own work was published a few times in the American Journal of Legal History, and he also edited and fact checked much of his father’s work. 

In retirement, Rudi became a tremendous asset as an advisor to the Lamy Center team and was actively engaged in supporting our mission. He authored the Caregiver blog, where he wrote 22 posts since 2017 to provide caregivers for older adults with valuable insights and important resources. Additionally, he served on the Elder Care Medicine Network as a community council member and was instrumental in both the field work as well as the scholarly aspects. He reminded us to: “Use straight forward English, rather than the buzz words of an academician.”  

For 33 years, Rudi was married to his wife, Toni, and he was a devoted husband, caregiver, and patient advocate. When Toni was diagnosed with dementia, Rudi became her primary caregiver and bravely documented that journey through his blog.  

Rudi’s heartfelt musings give us insight into his experiences as a caregiver for a loved one. He had good advice and researched many resources for other caregivers, including the importance of getting a flu shot, tracking medications, and having a backup plan. And finally, the heartbreak of realizing he could no longer do the job himself. 

From Rudi’s June 2020 blog: “Somewhere near the beginning of the end of their struggle, your loved one with dementia will forget that they are ill and may forget the human urge to ‘rage against the dying of the light’ (Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”). But before that terrible and melancholy moment, you as a caregiver may have already come to the inevitable conclusion that, like the Ancient Roman hero Horatius, you are standing alone in your battle against this unbeatable enemy.” 

Rudi’s posts are sprinkled with literary references – stemming from his lengthy career as a librarian. This, along with his witty and easy conversational writing, makes for great reading with lots of useful ideas for caregivers. Perhaps Rudi’s sagest advice is to not go it alone and to arrange the transition to a care center “as soon as YOU are ready.” 

Rudi will be deeply missed, for his personality, friendship, advice, and experience as a caregiver. It means a lot to have this opportunity to reflect and commemorate Rudi. As he often closed in his blog posts, thanks for reading.  

Reflections from those who know him

From Ken Walters, a quote that describes one of Rudi’s greatest talents, especially regarding his family and friends: 

“The most important things in life are hardly ever urgent. That is why it is so important for us to identify what the most important things are and place them at the center of our lives.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson 

“Rudi brought joy, cookies to share, and stimulating conversation to every meeting I attended with him. He was one-of-a-kind.” — Jill Sullivan, program specialist, Lamy Center 

“Rudi’s vibrant and welcoming personality is what I will remember most about him. He was an enthusiastic member of the team and generously offered his time, input, and expertise to strengthen the center, along with lots of stories and jokes to make each interaction memorable. It was a pleasure to get to know Rudi. Although we will miss his warm presence at the Lamy Center, he will always be fondly remembered.” — Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCGP, FASCP, director of education and training, Lamy Center; professor of practice, sciences, and health outcomes research; assistant dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion

Family will receive friends from 10:30-11:30 a.m., Saturday, February 24 at the Sterling-Ashton-Schwab-Witzke Funeral Home of Catonsville, Inc., 1630 Edmondson Avenue, Catonsville, MD 21228. A memorial service will follow at 11:30 a.m. Interment in Meadowridge Memorial Park.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Gift Processing Administrator, 18251 Quantico Gateway Drive, Triangle, VA 22172, The Maryland Food Bank, 2200 Halethorpe Farms Rd, Baltimore, MD 21227, or a pet charity of your choice. 

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  • So missing him and his humor as a part of one of many Univ of Md Advisory committees. Am so glad to have had a chance to encounter such a giving human being on my life’s journey.

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