Dara Elise Hepfer Lambert

Posted: 16 May 2024

Many IAFL Fellows and their friends will be deeply saddened to hear that Dara Elise Hepfer Lambert passed away on Wednesday, May 15, after courageously fighting breast cancer. She is survived by her husband, Andy Lambert, her parents, Kenneth and Cheryl Hepfer, her brother, Michael Hepfer (Elly), and her sister Lisa Hepfer. Dara was an amazing young woman who was loved and beloved by many. She was a masterful dog trainer, bird lover, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and lover of nature. Dara left us far too early. She had a contagious laugh and only saw the best in people.

Dara graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in psychology. She used her talents to train dogs and win the hearts of their owners. Dara was well known for her “puppy classes,” where she met puppies and their owners to socialize them and to teach the puppies, and their owners, basic skills.

She was charismatic and charming, and everyone was a friend. Dara loved to box and to work out with her coach. She did everything she could to prolong her life. She was a fighter!

Dara loved to travel, and joined her mother on trips around the world with the International Academy of Family Lawyers. She also traveled to many countries in South and Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Her favorite trips were to South Africa, where she went on Safari on a number of occasions, even returning once to see the wild dogs.

Her greatest joy was her family. She was an amazing daughter and travel partner, a loving soul mate to her husband, Andy, a wonderful sister to her brother, Michael (Elly), her sister, Lisa, and she adored her nieces, Maia, Alayna and Anna, and nephew, Jason.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, May 17, at 10:00 am at the Garden of Remembrance, Clarksburg, Maryland. The service will be live-streamed with access through the cemetery’s website. Shiva will be held at Kol Shalom Congregation, Darnestown Road, Rockville on Sunday morning at 9:00 am, and Sunday and Monday evenings at 6:30 pm.

Donations may be made in Dara’s honor to the following: The Lost Dog Rescue (, The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown Hospital, or a charity of your choosing. 

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