His presence was felt after he graduated from Stafford Senior High School and went on to enlist in the Marine Corps.
Lamar, who served three tours abroad, was killed May 12 while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. The news hit hard back home.
“I think of him almost like a son,” said former wrestling coach Richard Hall, choking back tears. “I’m going to miss him.”
Lamar would often return to his old school and coach other wrestlers. He was also quick to share the ins and outs of military life with Stafford students.
Sheri Pierce, who taught sociology, recalled how he talked to one of her classes about the transition from civilian life to military life and back again. Now, she sees students and other staffers at the school struggle with the loss.
“We’re wondering why it’s the good ones that go," she said.
Her husband Roger, who coached football at Stafford when Lamar was there, said the news of his death hit him like a “punch in the gut.”
He remembered how happy Lamar was with his life in the corps.
Sgt. Donald Lamar is survived by a wife and a 2-year-old daughter.