Anna Mae Lemon
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"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8.
Anna Mae Brewster Lemon, long time resident of Jackson, Miss., died Sunday, January 27, 2013, at the age of 98, at St. Catherine's Village, after a brief illness. Visitation is at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson on Monday, January 28, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 pm and Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at 9:00 am, followed by funeral service at 10:00 am. Burial will be 3:00pm Tuesday in Evergreen Cemetery, Ocean Springs, MS.
Mrs. Lemon was born April 7, 1914, in Baldwyn Miss., the first of three children born to Leroy Ellsworth Brewster and Pearl Outlaw Brewster. She attended school in Baldwyn, and was graduated from Baldwyn High School. Her love of music began early, with her ability to play piano by ear. While in high school, she bartered with the music teacher to tutor piano students in exchange for lessons in clarinet, which she then played in the school marching band. She even taught herself to play violin. Her family owned a small farm where Anna Mae learned the fine arts of sewing and needlework, cooking, and gardening both flowers and vegetables. She brought these talents with her when she left Baldwyn for Jackson, MS, where she met and married George Lemasson Lemon in 1936. She sewed clothing for herself and her daughters, including two wedding dresses, one copied, without a pattern, from the cover of The Bride's Magazine. Her dinner table offered vegetables fresh from Mr. Lemon's garden; rosemary, basil and parsley, grown in large iron pots on the patio; and every kind of game and seafood, all prepared to perfection.
When Mr. Lemon was called to service in World War II, Mrs. Lemon gladly went with him and their two very young daughters, and lived on Army bases in Riverside, Cal., Tucson, Ariz., and Spokane, Wash. She learned to play bridge at the Officers' Club in Tucson, and played for many years. Known to be a serious opponent, she played to win, and usually did.
Football was Mrs. Lemon's favorite sport. She taught her daughters how it was played by putting a checked tablecloth on the kitchen table, the lines representing the ten-yard hash marks on the field. Then, using silverware to mark the line of scrimmage and down markers, she moved a salt shaker "ball" up and down the field, according to the play-by-play on the radio. In later years, she loved football on TV, especially when her favorite teams, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, were playing.
Mrs. Lemon was baptized and reared in the Methodist Church, and became a Presbyterian when she and Mr. Lemon married. She embraced her new church, and was proud to serve it in many capacities, wherever they lived. Returning to Jackson, Miss. in 1954, they joined First Presbyterian Church, where they remained members the rest of their lives. Mrs. Lemon was an active member of the Women in the Church, holding many offices over the years, including President, and in 1974 was named a WIC Life Member. She taught Sunday School class for first graders at "First Pres" forty-six years, and also played piano for the class. She was fond of all the children, watched them grow up and marry, and taught many of their children. She was cashier at the church's Wednesday night family suppers for many years, and could keep up with who-paid-for-who in a family, even when they weren't in line together. Her faith in God was strong, and the church family was dear to her. The Bibles she read through the years are treasures filled with her writings in the margins, and her favorite, The One Year Bible, is a family history noting the births of grandchildren and great grandchildren, deaths of loved ones, trips and family celebrations, the things that were important to her that day.
Many things interested Mrs. Lemon. She made beautiful needlework, in cross-stitch and crewel, and knitted afghans for everyone in the family. She stripped and refinished furniture, and antiqued several pieces when that was in vogue, and they are still very special, as are the beautiful box purses she decoupaged. She loved growing flowers, and sharing plants with friends. She passed this love to her grandchildren, who enjoy growing the same flowers in their yards that they remember in hers. She baked bread every week, made from a "starter" in a jar on the kitchen counter. We never left her home empty-handed: there was always that wonderful bread, food, and flowers from the yard, to take home. She didn't hesitate to ask a friend for a recipe she liked, copying it on a scrap of paper, an envelope, often her church circle book. Sometimes adjusting a recipe to fit the ingredients on hand, the new version became a family favorite. She wasn't afraid to learn something new, considering it a challenge. When the family lived in Vicksburg, Miss., she worked as a guide at Vicksburg National Military Park, sharing the history of the park with visitors. She extended her musical accomplishments further when "First Pres" formed a handbell choir, learning to play the large, weighty bass bells, despite her petite size.
She had many sayings she liked: "Two heads are better than one." "Many hands make light work." "I learned a long time ago that wherever I am is home." "Haste makes waste." And quoting her grandfather, she would say, "Now, honey, nothing's so bad it couldn't be worse." and "Honey, every dog has his day."
Mrs. Lemon is survived by daughters Ann Lemon Doss and husband Ed, of Littleton, Colo., Sara Bristow Lemon of Baton Rouge, La., and Georgia Lemon Anderson and husband Bob of Jackson, Miss.; six grandchildren, Stephanie Odak and husband Perry of Golden, Colo, Margaret Doss Wingo and husband Jim of Great Falls, Va., John Doss of Littleton, Colo., Dr. Saili Anderson Garner and husband Dr. Jason Garner of Birmingham, Ala., Dr. Kirk Anderson and wife Kortney of Jackson, Miss., and Ryan Anderson and wife Kelli of Knoxville, Tenn.; nine great-grandchildren, Brook and Max Wingo of Great Falls Va.; Sara Adams, Jackson, and Anderson Garner of Birmingham, Ala.; Whit and Mac Anderson of Jackson, Miss.; and Will and Miles Anderson of Knoxville, Tenn. She is also survived by brother-in-law Fred Lemon, and widow of a brother-in-law, Eleanor Bradford Lemon, both of Ocean Springs, Miss.; niece Nancy Dennis, and cousin DeSha White, both of Jackson, Miss.; and many other cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-nine years, George Lemasson Lemon; parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Brewster; infant daughter Eleanor Lemon; infant brother Leroy Brewster, beloved sister Dot McCarthy and husband C. W., and niece Linda McCarthy Pendergest, all of Baldwyn, Miss.
Our special thanks to Dr. Kirk Anderson, Dr. George Patton, and the nurses and staff at St. Catherine's Village Siena, and Gentiva Hospice.
Words cannot express my thanks to Georgia for all the things she did daily for Mama at The Orchard for six years: decorating, shopping, chauffeuring, errands, laundry; replanting her patio flowers every spring and keeping the birdfeeder filled, things that made her place a beautiful home; for all the things she did for one year at St. Catherine's Village, and to Bob for all of those years, too.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to French Camp Academy, French Camp, MS 39745; First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, 1390 N. State St., Jackson MS 39202; and Gateway Rescue Mission, P. O. Box 3763, Jackson, MS 39207; or
"We love you Mama, and we will miss you so much."
Published in Clarion Ledger on Jan. 28, 2013