Mark Lambrecht knew he’d found his calling the minute he first picked up a glass cutter.
“He just knew that this was what he was supposed to do,” wife Kristi said.
The couple started working from their basement, then from their garage, then, finally, from a building in downtown Omaha, turning Lambrecht Glass Studio Inc. into a company that did projects for St. Vincent de Paul Church, the Cloisters on the Platte and the Holy Family Shrine.
Lambrecht died Tuesday after a yearlong battle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 67.
Daughter Jenna Lambrecht will continue the business her father started 41 years ago. He had been selling waterbeds before Kristi decided to take a stained glass class at Metro Community College. She was working on a project at home when he picked up the cutter.
David Fitzpatrick, who worked with Lambrecht for 40 years when he owned Wood Specialties Inc., said Lambrecht grew to have an expertise few others could match. They worked on projects at several churches together.
“Mark was extremely talented and gifted in the work he did,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think more importantly his faith played such an important role. I always felt he had a very deep faith, and it came through in the work he did and the relationships he had with everyone.”
Brother William Woeger, the director of worship for the Archdiocese of Omaha, said he collaborated for years with the Lambrechts on both new buildings and church renovations. He said Lambrecht was on call for restoration work at St. Cecilia Cathedral.
“He had a great openness to input that I would bring to the table,” Woeger said. “He had a very high level of integrity in terms of the business end of his studio.”
Kristi Lambrecht said her husband’s work at the Cloisters on the Platte was his favorite. He loved the chance to work with so many other artisans, she said.
“We were privileged to have Mark create the beautiful stained glass in the Cloisters on the Platte’s chapel,” said Joe Ricketts, who serves as chairman of the Cloisters on the Platte Foundation. “The color and imagery produced as light streams through those windows will serve as a lasting reminder of Mark’s great talent.”
In addition to his wife, survivors include daughters Laura, Jenna and Kara; sister Jeannie Stillwell; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by parents Ray and Mildred Lambrecht.
Visitation is set for 3-5 p.m. Sunday at Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak- Cutler at 7805 West Center Road. The funeral will follow at 5 p.m.