Howard L. "Jack" Lemons, 96, of Pittsfield, passed away Thursday, May 29, 2014, at Illini Community Hospital in Pittsfield.
Jack was born on April 24, 1918, in Pittsfield, a son of Jessie Howard and Opal Amy Collins Lemons. He married Mavis Dark on Nov. 23, 1941, in Palmyra, Missouri, and she survives.
Jack was a combat veteran of the United States Army serving during WWII. He served with headquarters and service troop; the 94th CAV, Recon Squad (MEC) as a Combat MP he earned the Expert Infantryman Badge-Submachine Gun and also served in Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. His decorations included American Defense Service Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with four Bronze Stars; one Service Stripe Medal; two Overseas Service Medals and Good Conduct Medal. He was on the 2nd Wave at Omaha Beach and came in as support at the Battle of the Bulge. He was proud of the fact that he was a WWII veteran and that his son James was a Vietnam veteran and son Mike was a veteran of Desert Storm. In November of 2012, Jack, accompanied by his son, had the honor of going on the "Honor Flight" to Washington, D.C.
Jack was employed by the City of Pittsfield Police Department for 13 years. He later served as chief of police in Winchester until his retirement in 1980. After retirement from police work, he drove a school bus for two generations of children and greatly loved the kids. He enjoyed scratch-off lottery tickets, fishing, mowing his yard and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Mavis; sons, James E. "Cork" (Sally) Lemons of Pittsfield and Michael (Bridget) Lemons of Pittsfield; daughters, Elaine (Frank) Hoaglin of Pittsfield and Beverly (Ed) Hailey of Eufaula, Oklahoma; 12 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Jack was preceded in death by three brothers, Charles, Robert and Donald; three sisters, Betty, Ruth and Geraldine and one granddaughter, Jackie Wintjen, in 1996.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday at Niebur Funeral Home in Pittsfield with Clint Weir officiating. Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Interment will be at Greenpond Cemetery near Pearl, with military graveside honors accorded by Pittsfield American Post 152 and Military Funeral Honor Guard.
Niebur Funeral Home - Pittsfield
530 West Adams
Pittsfield, IL 62363
Published in Jacksonville Journal-Courier on June 1, 2014