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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WILLARD LEMMON Obituary

LEMMON, Willard Lincoln, age 88, died peacefully at his home on Saturday, November 24, 2012. He was born on September 30, 1924 to Frank Tremaine and Alexina Lincoln Lemmon. He was a lifelong resident of Marion and Smyth County, Virginia which he loved deeply and believed to be the most beautiful place on earth. He was a graduate of Marion Senior High School and entered Davidson College in the summer of 1942. He enlisted in the United States Army and was called to active duty in March 1943. Mr. Lemmon was a man of deep faith and life long member of Royal Oak Presbyterian Church in Marion were he served as both deacon and elder. Mr. Lemmon also loved to fish, particularly surf fishing, and playing golf. He often said that he got lots of exercise because "I swing the club more than most." He obtained the rank of Sergeant of Infantry Rifle I Company 309th Infantry 78th Division during World War II. He served on the front lines in Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Lemmon was President of Lemmon Transport Company, Consolidated Real Estate Corporation, and Lemmon Investment Corporation. He served on the Board of Directors for the Bank of Marion for 39 years. He was Vice President of the Virginia Highway Users Association and Treasurer of the National Tank Truck Carriers. Mr. Lemmon served as Vice President of the Smyth County Community Hospital Board, President of the Board of Trustees of Mary Baldwin College, member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Emory and Henry College, the Board of Visitors for Davidson College, and Virginia Highlands College. Mr. Lemmon's service earned him many awards. He was given the Distinguished Service Award as the Outstanding Young Man of Virginia in 1956 by the Virginia Jaycees. He was given the Rotary Club Man of the Year Award in 1975, the State Farmer Degree by the Future Farmers of America in 1986, the Pathfinders Award by the Virginia Elementary School Principals in 1986 and was named Friend of Education by the Virginia Education Association. Mr. Lemmon was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Emory and Henry College in 1987. Having served his country in the Armed Services and his community in these ways, Mr. Lemmon also ran and was elected to represent his beloved Southwest Virginia in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1967. He was a member of the Mining and Mineral Resources Committee, Chairman of the House Education Committee and was a member of the House of Appropriations Committee serving as Chairman of its Subcommittee on Funding K-12 Education. In addition to serving in the Virginia House of Delegates, he served as Vice Chairman of the Virginia Governmental Management Commission, the Governor's Commission on Excellence in Education, the Governor's Commission on Educational Opportunities for all Virginians, and the Governor's Commission on the Future of Virginia. Mr. Lemmon served on the Board of Education for the State of Virginia for eight years and was its President for two years. Mr. Lemmon was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Frank T. Lemmon Jr. Mr. Lemmon is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Rosa Rogerson Lemmon; and his two daughters, Alexina L. Copenhaver and husband, Curtis of Charlotte, N.C. and Elizabeth L. Sayers and husband, Lynn of Marion, Va. The Lemmons have seven grandchildren, Edward David Sayers, Carolyn Copenhaver Hargrove, Laura Sayers Angle, Kristen Copenhaver Grogan, Charles Curtis Copenhaver Jr., Sarah Sayers Sparks, and Amanda Sayers Huber, and 16 great-grandchildren. Many other family members and in-laws also survive. The family expresses deep appreciation to his loving caregivers, Ilene Blevins, Kathy Blevins, Katey Jackson, Kim Ball Robinson, and Shelia Russell. Funeral Services will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at Royal Oak Presbyterian Church in Marion, Va. with the Reverend Alan Gray and the Reverend Steve Cathcart officiating. Burial will follow in Rose Lawn Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday, November 26, 2012 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Seaver-Brown Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Royal Oak Presbyterian Church, 139 W. Main St., Marion Va. 24354 or the Willard L. Lemmon Education Fund for Smyth County, Virginia, c/o Smyth County Educational Foundation, 147 Fox Valley Rd., Marion, Va. 24354. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family at www.seaverbrown.com. Seaver-Brown Funeral Service and Crematory is serving the Lemmon Family.


This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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Published online on 11/26/2012 courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.