Lamon Colvin was born in Phoenix but it wasn’t long before his family moved to Watsonville.
“My dad followed the crops,” Lamon said. “That was one of the main reasons we stayed until World War II broke out.”
After the war broke out, Lamon’s mother sent him and his cousin, Vivian, back to Phoenix to stay with his aunt until his parents were able to sell their house in Watsonville.
After high school, he joined the Navy Reserves and served for one and a half years. After attending mortuary college in San Francisco, Lamon worked in San Jose and got married.
“Then the Army drafted me,” Lamon said.
While in the the Army, he was stationed in Camp Roberts and lived in Paso Robles with his family for two years with his wife, Dorothy, and three children, Tim of Redding, Nancy of Redding and Mary of Kingsburg.
Lamon discharged from the Army on Sept. 26, 1958, and began work at Chapel of the Roses Mortuary and Crematory. At the same time, he and his family moved to Atascadero, where they have lived ever since.
Lamon worked at Chapel of the Roses until he bought the mortuary with a partner. He was partner and funeral director until he retired in April of 1996.
Bertha and Harry Gray started the mortuary in 1928 and owned it until 1947, calling it Grace Mortuary & Crematory. When Lamon went to work there, it was located on El Camino Real in the downtown area until a new building was built in the 1970s at 3450 El Camino Real, where it is located today.
Lamon had attended a United Methodist Church in San Jose before moving to San Luis Obispo County. At that time, there was no United Methodist Church in Atascadero, so Lamon went to the conference and offered to let the church meet in the mortuary.
“At that time, they didn’t think they needed one in Atascadero,” Lamon said.
Lamon attended the Community Church of Atascadero until there was a Methodist church in town.
When the Rev. Rollin Dexter came to Atascadero, he knew Lamon had offered the chapel to the church, so on Aug. 12, 1979, the first meeting of the Atascadero United Methodist Church took place at Chapel of the Roses. There were 22 new members at that first service, Lamon being one of them.
The congregation met at the Chapel of the Roses for four years before moving into its own space at 11605 El Camino Real in early 1983. The first service in that building took place on Palm Sunday 1983. At that time, the only building on property was what is now called Dexter Hall, which houses the offices, fellowship hall, kitchen and library. The classrooms were added on in the 1980s. The sanctuary building was first used on Dec. 17, 2000.
Over the years, Lamon has been involved in a number of ministries and committees at the church including being the president of the advisory council, chairman of the Staff Parish Relations Committee and lead cook for the annual church picnic. Now, he says he’s the “mail carrier” and ushers for special events, memorial services and as needed.
In the community, Lamon has been involved with the Elks Lodge, Lions Club, Boy Scout leader, served on the Wranglerettes board, Little League and Atascadero Swim Club.
As for hobbies, Lamon has enjoyed traveling and camping in his motorhome and being a private pilot. With his wife, Jeanne, who he married in 1983 after his first wife died, they have six living children, 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Lamon said he was “surprised and honored to [be the Colony Days king]” when he was asked. “I’ve been here in Atascadero for 60 years.”