Longtime North Platte family physician, Dr. Leland Lamberty, died Saturday due to complications of COVID-19.

Dr. Lamberty’s COVID-19 condition is believed to be a community-spread case. He was hospitalized on Aug. 28 and placed on a ventilator on Sept. 2.

He was a firm believer in the effectiveness of personal protective equipment and never wavered from wearing it while serving patients in the clinic, Great Plains Health spokeswoman Megan McGown said. Among his last words was concern for everyone to remain safe in the face of this dangerous virus, his pastor Arnold Flater of First Evangelical Lutheran Church said.

Visitation and book signing will be Friday, Sept. 17 from noon-8 p.m. at Carpenter Memorial Chapel, with family receiving friends from 5-7 p.m. The family requests bright clothing in honor of Lee’s love of bright colors. Masks will be required.

A private family Celebration of Life will be Saturday, Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. at Carpenter Memorial Chapel. Services will be held following all current health directives regarding COVID-19, the family said. Plans are underway to broadcast the service, livestream.

“Dr. Lamberty was loved and respected by all who worked with him,” Great Plains Health chief executive officer Mel McNea said.  “His presence on our medical staff and in the community will be missed. He was a visionary, a mentor and a friend to many. He truly loved practicing medicine and serving his patients and it showed.”

Lamberty graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1971. He established Family Medicine Associates in 1973. He built a thriving practice and helped grow primary care in North Platte. He recruited several partners over the years, including Dr. Janet Bernard, who joined the practice in 1985 and worked alongside Lamberty for more than 30 years. In 2018, Family Medicine Associates established a formal partnership with Great Plains Health.

“For nearly 50 years, Dr. Lamberty has been a pillar in our healthcare community,” Great Plains Health chief of staff Dr. Michael Simonson said.  “He cared deeply about his patients and the practice of medicine. This was evident in his practice, his staff and in his everyday work with patients. He will truly be missed.”

“Dr. Lamberty had several generations of North Platte community residents under his care,” said Dr. Emily Jones, Great Plains Health family medicine physician. “While he can never be replaced, we will continue to care for his patients with the level of care that he would be proud of.”