John Lowell Lemons, founder of Lemons Jewelry, died Feb. 13 in Waynesboro, Va. He was 82.
He was born in Galax, Va., on July 18, 1925, to John Samuel and Alice Inscore Lemons.
Following a successful 26 year, management career with Jewel Box Stores Corp., in Oct., 1975, Lemons purchased the Jewel Box store in Galax, Va., and formed Lemons Jewelry, Inc., which along with his son, Phil, developed into a chain of 18 retail jewelry stores in Virginia and North Carolina.
Lemons was active in the retail business on Main Street in Galax for 56 years. His many community endeavors included charter membership in the Y’s Men Club, Deacon at First Baptist Church, and active participation in the Retail Merchants Association. For more than 60 years he was a constant fixture working in concession stands at Galax High School athletic events.
He also served three terms, 12 years, as a member of the Galax City Council. For two of those years he was elected vice mayor. He initiated and supported many programmatic and facility improvements which enhanced the city—including swimming pool projects, police and courts building, and recreation center.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and also served in the Armed Guard.
He is survived by is wife of 59 years, Thomasine Calloway Lemons; two sons and daughters-in-law, Lowell and Linda Lemons and Phil and Maryellen Lemons, all of Waynesboro, Va.; a brother, William Reid Lemons of Richmond, Va.; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two special caregivers, the Rev. Bruce Noffsinger and Michelle Craig; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were conducted Feb. 16 at Galax First Baptist Church with burial in Felts Memorial cemetery. Military rites were conducted Grayson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7726. Dr. Winford, the Rev. Burch Noffsinger and the Rev. Claxton Hall officiated.
The family requests that memorial contributions may be made to Galax Foundation for Excellence in Education, P.O. Box 487, Galax, VA 24333 or to First Baptist Church John Lemons Memorial Fund, 1024, East Stuart Drive, Galax, VA 24333.