Dr. Jule Lamm, O.D., a Santa Monica resident for 54 years, died peacefully at his home on February 11, 2023. He was 99 years old. Born in Los Angeles, Jule lived his early life in Echo Park near Chavez Ravine, where he played as a child. The Great Depression developed in Jule a strong work ethic and self-reliance.
Jule attended John Marshall High School where he studied drafting. During that time he assisted famed architect Richard Neutra, who lived in an apartment downstairs in the Lamm family home. During Jule’s senior year, after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was later sent to the Pacific where he flew C-47’s (DC3) and C-46’s, transporting people and supplies to far flung outposts.
Jule participated in the invasion of the Philippines, and as part of the “Tokyo Trolley” he piloted one of the first transport airplanes into Japan immediately after the signing of the armistice.
After the war, Jule attended UCLA and earned a Doctor of Optometry in 1950 from Northern Illinois College of Optometry. He returned to L.A. and opened the first of three optometry offices,married the love of his life, Judy, with whom he “formed a team” for 56 years. The team grew with their three children Randy, Brett and Wendy.
Jule had a lifelong sense of civic responsibility. He advocated to stop the proposed Beverly Hills Freeway and worked closely with Tom Bradley, Ed Edleman and Pat Brown on initiatives to fund a subway to the west side.
Concerned about over development, Jule was involved with the North of Montana Neighborhood Assocation (NOMA). He also worked with L.A. City Councilman Marvin Braude to build the beach bike path to the Marina.
For several decades, Jule piloted teams of nurses and doctors on monthly medical missions to a clinic he helped establish in rural Sinaloa, Mexico. After retirement Jule volunteered as an optometrist for the Venice Family Clinic, Santa Monica Schools and The Jules Stein Mobile Eye Clinic, providing eye exams for preschool students across the region.
In 2013, Jule lost Judy to pancreatic cancer. The shock of her passing was terrible, but Jule kept on “doing” due to the love for his family. He took his children and grandchildren skiing, hiking, fishing and flying. He participated with great zest in large family gatherings, and well into his 90s he loved to camp with family.
Jule is preceded in death by his parents, Rose and Joseph Lamm, his adored siblings, Nathaniel, Jeanette and Sarah. He will be forever cherished by his children: Randy Lamm (Bronwyn), Brett Lamm (Stephanie), and Wendy Lamm; and his grandchildren, Gabriella, Julianna, Ian, Elia, Arlo, and Gabriel.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Smotrich Endowed Chair held by Optometrist Ava Bittner at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute.