Mr. Joe Liss Lemmon, 75, of Bolivar, died May 7, 2005, in the Parkview Health Care Facility in Bolivar surrounded by his loving family after a battle with Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia.
Mr. Lemmon was born Dec. 15, 1929, near Morrisville, the son of Mayhew Lemmon and Lera Mae Hurd Lemmon.
Joe later moved to Bolivar and on May 4, 1951, he was united in marriage to June Charlotte Smith. Together they had six children.
Joe started working at Foremost Dairy in Bolivar and later managed the Ben Franklin store in Bolivar. In 1963 he joined Bob Jump in the ownership of Jump's Skelly and then managed the Firestone store in Bolivar. He later went back as owner of the Lemmons' Service Station until his retirement in 1993. Later he loved working as a farm hand for Triple C Farms. He lovingly educated the other farm hands by sharing colorful stories of Polk County history.
Joe served two terms as Bolivar ward councilman in the early 70's and was elected mayor of Bolivar from 1973-1991 and from 1993-1995 when he retired. Joe ran the mayor's office from his service station where he had an "open door" policy and was on call 24 hours a day. He dug ditches, fought fires, cleaned streets, moved snow, and did many good things for the City of Bolivar.
He enjoyed working on race cars with his sons, and with Tom Brown, Hoppy Hopkins, Bob Woodfill and John Mark Woodfill.
Joe was a member of the Ozarks Community Action Corp. for 25 years, Vice President of 30th Circuit Youth Services, Inc., Board of Directors from 1995-2003 and was proud to receive the Bolivar Civic Service Award in 1995.
Joe was saved at the age of 14 and in the last 10 years showed an increased desire to deepen his relationship with the Lord. He attended First Assembly of God Church when his health allowed.
Joe's passion and joy were his children and grandchildren. He loved his family and wished they could all live in one big house together.
Joe was preceded in death by his daughter, Patricia Lou Lemmon; his parents, Mayhew and Lera Mae Lemmon; and an infant brother, David Lemmon.
Surviving Joe are his loving family: his wife, June, of the home; three daughters and their husbands, Pam and Roger Grider, Penny and Doug Brandt and Jackie and Tony Hitchcock, all of Bolivar; two sons and their wives, Jody and Vicki Lemmon of Dexter, and Jerry and Rita Lemmon of Bolivar; his three sisters, Virginia Lemmon and Mary Ellen Lemmon, both of Springfield, and Vesta McLaughlin of Branson; four brothers, Bill Lemmon, Glen Lemmon and John Lemmon, all of Springfield, and Harry Lemmon of Strafford; 12 grandchildren, J.J. Lemmon and wife Shannon, Christy Lemmon and fiancÚ Brandon Vaughn, Keisha Lemmon, Hank Lemmon, Jason Cooper, Fable Grider, Landon Grider, Patricia Brandt, Tony Brandt, Mackenzie Hitchcock, Macey Hitchcock, and Cooper Hitchcock; two step-grandchildren, Tesa Grider and Tanya Keithley and husband Kyle; three great-grandchildren, Chloe Lemmon, Delaney Lemmon, and Aaliyah Lemmon; and one step-great-grandson, Brendon Keithley.
Funeral services were held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2005, in the First Assembly of God Church in Bolivar with Pastor Gary Ankrom officiating. Musical selections were by Fable Grider with Roger Grider on guitar, the Lemmon children and grandchildren and Danny Hitchcock with Greg Ankrom as the pianists.
Interment was in the Greenwood Cemetery in Bolivar under the direction of the Butler Funeral Home of Bolivar. Casketbearers were Jody Lemmon, Jerry Lemmon, Roger Grider, Jason Cooper, Doug Brandt, Tony Hitchcock, Joe Dale Lemmon, Jr. and Landon Grider. Honorary Casketbearers were Hank Lemmon, Tony Brandt and Cooper Hitchcock.
Memorial contributions may be made to the "Joe Lemmon Memorial" which will be designated by the family at a later time. Memorials may be sent to the Butler Funeral Home, P.O. Box 11, Bolivar, Mo. 65613.