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Jim was the son of Wilkie S. and Edna (Elrod) Lemon. He married Patricia Moran of Versailles, Indiana, August 24, 1949, and she survives. Jim will also be missed by his daughter Evelyn Israel and husband Charles, sons James Lemon and wife Nan, and Tracy Lemon and wife Shirley. Jim was also blessed with 7 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and many loving nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his Aunt Elsie Lemon, and sisters Carolyn Harms, Mary Chandler, and Elizabeth Hooton.
As a child, Jim attended school in Friendship before graduating from Cross Plains High School, in the Class of 1944.
Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, being assigned to the 24th Infantry Division, and was deployed to the Philippines and participated in the Battle of Mindanao. After the liberation of Mindanao, he was destined for the Japanese mainland when victory was declared on VJ Day. His unit continued on, and was involved with the occupation of Japan. Jim was honorably discharged in November of 1946, with the rank of staff sergeant. For his service to his country, he was awarded the Bronze Star.
Jim returned to his family farm in Friendship, and started his young family, as well as his 55-year career at The Friendship State Bank, serving as its president and cashier. He additionally served as chairman of the board of directors for many years, retiring in 2014.
As a young man, Jim enjoyed farming, playing fast pitch softball and basketball, quail hunting, and trap shooting.
Later on, in addition to working at his cattle and sheep farm, he focused on attending his grandchildren's many school and sporting events. He was also an avid Cincinnati Bengals, Reds, and IU basketball fan.
Jim was a member of the Friendship Volunteer Fire Department, Brown Township Post of the American Legion, Ripley County 40 & 8 Voiture 1047, Versailles Masonic Lodge, and Indianapolis Valley Scottish Rite.
He was inducted into the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame and the NMLRA Black Powder Hall of Fame for his contributions to the organization.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 11, at 1 p.m. at the Bear Creek Baptist Church in Friendship with Rev. Sherman Hughes officiating. Burial will be in the Benham Cemetery with military graveside rites by the Brown Township American Legion. Visitation was Thursday, January 10, from 3-7 p.m. at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home, Versailles, and will also be from noon until time of services Friday at the church.
Memorials may be given to the Ripley County 40 & 8 Nurses Scholarship Fund in care of the funeral home.
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