Lammy Olcott Johnstone passed away at The Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA at the age of 79. She was born in New York City on Jan. 23, 1944. Her time growing up was spent in New York City and summer homes in Saratoga and Pound Ridge NY. She was a graduate of the Hewett School in New York and debutant in the New York Infirmary Ball at the Waldorf Astoria. She continued her education at Mercy and Finch Colleges in New York City. It is there that she found her passion for writing and reporting.
She had a long illustrious career in various roles from coast to coast in positions including society reporter for the New York Daily News and Los Angeles Times, columnist and senior editor for AdWeek, and freelance writer with her work appearing in Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, Sports Illustrated and Cosmopolitan.
Over the years she had the opportunity to interview a few icons in history including Martin Luther King Jr., Pele, and Joe Namath. Lammy also was the media consultant who rode across Russia on her own motorcycle with Malcom Forbes.
Later in her career, Lammy joined Macmillan Publishing Co. where she was named president of Showtime Publications division. When Macmillan was sold, she purchased the rights to Showtime and started her own successful company under Olcott Communications.
She eventually landed in Solvang, CA where she has resided for the past 25-plus years and has been a passionate member of the community. She was always involved in the local government, charities, exhibitions, and papers. Lammy had many friends and will be deeply missed in her Solvang community.
Her love of animals was apparent as her home was always filled with dogs, cats and birds. All are considered part of her extended family.
Horses were her true passion from an early age. She learned to ride at Ox Ridge in Darien and would be seen riding through Central Park in her teenage years. She continued to ride throughout her life and was the proud owner of five horses.
We will miss Lammy’s passionate spirit for all things in life.
Lammy was the granddaughter of the late Rita Olcott and the well-known Irish tenor Chauncey Olcott. Mr. Olcott was the performing artist and composer of several Irish songs, including When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, My Wild Irish Rose and Mother Machree.
Lammy is survived by her brothers, Chauncey and wife Pat of Wilton, and Charles Johnstone of New York City; and sister Jyll Johnstone and husband Michael Davis of Belvedere, CA; in addition, by her four nieces and six grand-nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents, Edmund and Janet Johnstone, and her brother Ned Johnstone.
There will be a service to celebrate her life on Friday, April 14 at the Old Mission Santa Ins in Solvang at 11 a.m., and the interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York on May 13. Memorials may be made to the Happy Endings Animal Rescue Sanctuary of Santa Ynez Valley and the Old Mission Santa Ins in memory of Lammy Johnstone-Kockler.