Billy Eugene Lemon, 93, died peacefully on Tuesday, Feb. 11 after a short illness at Stanford Medical Center, Palo Alto.
He was born in Montrose, Colo. to parents Eddie and Oma Lemon of Norwood, Colo. In 1923 the family moved to southern California where he grew up and graduated from Garfield High School and Pasadena City College.
When World War II broke out, Mr. Lemon joined the United States Merchant Marine and sailed aboard liberty ships delivering troops and munitions around the world. In 1944 he graduated as an ensign from the United States Maritime Officers School in Alameda and sailed around the world.
When the war ended two big events changed his life with his marriage to Inez Vanderpool of Bakersfield, and he joined his father in the sand and gravel business to take advantage of the southern California building boom. They owned their own trucks and formed the company Eddie H. Lemon and Son. In 1954 another big event happened when the Lemons welcomed baby girl to the family. She became the love of their life.
The family loved animals and kept horses and Mr. Lemon and his father were members of the mounted sheriff’s posse.
In the late 1950’s, the smog of Los Angeles was becoming too much and all of the Mr. Lemon’s family, including his wife and child, and his parents, moved near Oakdale onto a ranch on Horseshoe Road.
He soon made friends with Karl Ohe, who had a sand and gravel business of which he hired him to drive. He did that for 25 years.
His dad died in 1986, his beloved wife Inez died in 1994, and his mother died in 1997. Mr. Lemon turned to working on his ranch as a way of healing his loss and loneliness. In 1996 a new ray of sunshine entered his life. Sue Borges became a true blessing and companion and they later married. They were members of the Knights Ferry Community Church.
He and Sue became soul-mates, traveling and loving each other’s company. A special trip was on a paddleboat to Alaska with their friends Bob and Nona Riddle of Huntington Beach.
Survivors include his wife Sue; daughter, Sandra, both of Oakdale; stepchildren, Kathy Petska and Troy Borges; grandsons, Jonas and Jeremy; four great-grandchildren; and many loving nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Inez; and his parents.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel, 830 West F St.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, also at the chapel. Graveside services will follow at Knights Ferry Cemetery on Cemetery Road.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in his honor to a charity of your choice.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
Feb. 19, 2014