Barbara Lemon was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, and a friend of Barb’s was a friend for life. Deeply loved, she will be deeply missed and never be forgotten. An extraordinary woman to know and love, Barb made a significant impact in the lives of everyone she met. Guided by a confident faith, she lived a life that demonstrated what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved.
At the end of the Great Depression, Donald Cecil and Mildred Lucille (Miller) Adair were able to shift their focus from hardship to an exciting time in their lives with the birth of the baby girl they named Barbara Lois in North Webster, Indiana. She was the first of five children in the Adair family as she was raised alongside her siblings, Donna, Jo Ellen, Steven, and Bentley. Barb’s early years were spent in Kosciusko and Noble County and as a teen she moved to Whitley County where she graduated from Larwill High School in 1957.
While attending LHS, a blossoming relationship with a young man would shift the course of her life forever. His name was James Leroy Lemon, and they quickly fell in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Barb and Jim were married on September 20, 1958, in Ironwood. Together they welcomed three children including Tam, Robin, and Todd into their hearts and home. Barb was so thankful to have been able to raise her children on their small farm in Etna-Troy Township, which was the backdrop of so many family events and great memories for over 55 years. In 2014, following another shift in her life, she moved to town—Columbia City. This was a happy move for Barb, she often commented that she enjoyed living in a house with a nice small yard and a sunroom. During this time, she also found love, activity, and excitement again, with Clint.
Barbara was always an active member of the community she loved. She spent 22 years working as a materials control clerk at Group Dekko, working at 3 different locations including Washington Products, Larwill Products, and Noble Wire. Barb spent several years working on the Whitley County Election Absentee Board, was a four-year member of Etna Troy Advisory Board, and was a long time member of Community Bible Church in Columbia City. She worked with the Etna Troy Community Center, Whitley County Genealogy Society, and Salem Community Church Women's Mission Group, and over the years she made countless blankets for women's shelters in Noble and Whitley County.
When her family was young, Barb was primarily focused on her home and family. But later in life, she wanted to travel. Barb and Jim enjoyed traveling to Branson and Arizona with friends, and they also took a memorable trip to Yellowstone with Tom and Alice Kruger. They made many trips to Virginia to visit Todd and his family. Barb would travel with her brothers and sisters, to see her brothers and sisters, to Minnesota, North Carolina, and Myrtle Beach. She and Tam traveled together to Memphis, New Orleans, Nashville, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Independent and free-spirited, Barb took some solo trips and made new friends on tours to Niagara Falls and the Canadian Ice Fields. Later in life she traveled with Clint. Together they rode a motorcycle around the county, drove by car on various trips to Michigan and Illinois, and they also took a big trip by train to California and continued by ship to Hawaii. Last fall, Barb traveled with Tam, Robin, and Emma to Todd’s house for a weekend at the covered bridge festival, which was a good, crazy, family time.
Barb was happy that her children had good families of their own. She was able to see all of her grandkids grow up, and she was a significant and loving part of their lives. Barb was proud when she visited Sie and Eli at their home in Wisconsin and when Scot became a police officer. She enjoyed hearing stories from Sara about her mission trips and about Sheila’s time studying abroad. Barb saw Andrew build a home and a strong family and watched Issiac run. She spent lots of time with Audry on genealogy projects, and she felt the pride of seeing Emma’s valedictorian speech. Barb was renewed by the youthfulness of Maddie, Sam, and Anna. And always a music lover, Barb traveled far and wide to see Logan and Dylan play in The Lemon Brothers Band.
Barb told her family many times in the past few months – I have lived a full life, I just want to be at home now and work on “my bucket list”, which looked a little different than most bucket lists. Her life was already rich with family, activities, and travel, so she said that her "bucket list" was talking to people about Jesus, and reaching people for God, who she knew needed Him. She had a list of people that she had been tracking, watching, and inviting. And she deeply wanted to see them at least exposed to the idea of God, to go to Church, and feel Jesus’ love. She sought out people to talk to who were on her 'bucket list", to the people she wanted to reach directly. And she enlisted the help of others, people of faith who she trusted, and gave them assignments to follow up with the ones she wanted reached.
All who knew Barb would agree that she was truly extraordinary. She was very positive, upbeat, friendly, caring, and spunky. Even after she found out she was sick, Barb tried to comfort others about the situation. She kept reassuring her kids, her friends, and her family that she had lived a full life. Barb was thankful to have been married to Jim (the best there was, she’d say) for almost 50 years and to have watched her family grow and change over the years. She touched the lives of countless others through her years at work and community activities. Throughout her life, she enjoyed genealogy, politics, visiting cousins, driving a golf cart to garage sales, gardening, studying the Bible, watching high school sports, cooking, going to concerts, watching NFL, family get-togethers, and many church activities both at Community Bible and Salem.
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Barbara Lemon lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She was caring in everything she did and was continually looking for ways to share with others about the reason for the joy in her heart. Barb said many times that she wanted to go through her last battle showing dignity and courage so it would reflect her confidence in Jesus and her faith in God. And, she did just that. Barb would tell us now that it’s okay to be sad for a little bit, but we should also celebrate her full life, her example of faith in God, and her love of family, friends, and community.
Barbara L. Lemon, of Columbia City, IN, passed away at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, October 20, 2017 at her residence. Barbara’s family includes her daughters, Tam Mitchell, of Columbia City and Robin (Chris) Neeley, of South Whitley; son, Todd (Michelle) Lemon, of West Terre Haute; sisters, Donna (Jess) Mead, of Monticello, MN and Jo Ellen (John) Hueber, of Columbia City; brothers, Steven (Joyce) Adair, of Pierceton and Bentley (Janet) Adair, of Wilmington, NC; mother-in-law, Willodean White, of Columbia City; grandchildren, Sie Sauers, Sara Sauers, Sheila Sauers, Scot (Amy) Sauers, Andrew (Rebekah) Mitchell, Emma Neeley, Logan Lemon and Dylan Lemon; and great-grandchildren, Issiac Mitchell and Eli Sauers; 3 step-great-grandchildren. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; husband; granddaughter, Audry Nicole Neeley; and son-in-law, David A Mitchell. Friends may call on Friday, October 27, 2017, from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services for Barbara will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the funeral home with Pastors John Cummings and Kevin Whitacre officiating. Burial will follow in Adams Cemetery. Memorial contributions in memory of Barbara may be made to Community Bible Church. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send a condolence.