Leslie R. Lemon

Leslie R. Lemon

Leslie R. “Bucky” Lemon, 73, went home to be with the Lord on May 29, 2020, in Independence, MO. Les was born on January 19, 1947, in Greenville, SC, the youngest child of Carlson Howard “Jimmy” Lemon and Diora Elizabeth Hyre Lemon. His family relocated to the Grandview, MO area when he was six years old. By God’s design, his neighbor was Betty Louise Vest, the young girl who would ultimately become his wife. God gave Les a scientist’s mind, and it was evident as he spent his childhood conducting his own experiments, an introduction to a life of scientific research. At the age of 10, he watched with a mixture of fascination and fear as the 1957 Ruskin Heights tornado devastated his community. His mother guided him to learn more about severe weather in order to overcome his fear, and his love and passion for the weather was born. Les graduated from Grandview High School in 1965 and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. On June 15, 1968, he joyfully married his childhood neighbor and teenage sweetheart. Les and Betty began their new life together as he finished his bachelor’s degree, but his desire to pursue advanced degrees was interrupted when he received a draft notice. He served in the NOAA Commission Corps for four years, then began working for the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK. In 1979, he coauthored a landmark paper with Chuck Doswell studying super cell structures. Out of this work came the “Lemon Technique,” a method for radar operators to detect the characteristics of a developing tornado. It continues to be used by meteorologists, researchers, and educators to this day. In 1981, Les entered the private sector, where he worked in the development of the next generation weather radar (the WSR-88D/NEXRAD). The remainder of his career was spent training meteorologists across the world to interpret radar data, while continuing to research and write scientific papers. In later years, he also provided expert witness testimony in storm-related court cases. Les was a member of the American Meteorological Society, from whom he received an award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Applied Meteorology (1997). He was president of the National Weather Association (2001) and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from that organization (2010). For 42 years, Les and Betty were faithful members of Blue Ridge Bible Church. As distance became a factor, they began attending Coventry Estates Baptist Church. Les’ accomplishments were many, but he remained ever humble. He would say, “I stand on the shoulders of my predecessors,” and he always took the time to converse with and encourage undergraduates. He was an intelligent man, and his passion for weather and storms was palpable. He will be remembered for his kindness, loyalty, and beaming pride of his family. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Betty, of the home; three children: Kristen Olgren (husband Karl) of Milwaukee, WI, Allison Holm (husband Jason) of East Grand Forks, MN, and Jonathan Lemon of Salesville, AR; grandchildren: Nathan, Annika, and Molly Olgren, and Joshua and Mercy Holm; siblings Dennis (RuthAnn) Lemon of Tempe, AZ and Lorraine Combs of Lee’s Summit, MO; and many extended family, friends, and colleagues. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter Sarah Lemon; parents Jimmy and Elizabeth Lemon; and brother Wayne Lemon. A visitation will be held on Friday, June 5, from 1-2pm, with a funeral service at 2pm, both at Speaks Suburban Chapel, 18020 E. 39th St. in Independence. He will be laid to rest in Belton Cemetery following the service. In his honor, contributions are suggested to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, Gridley, IL 61744. This organization has played an important role in the Lemon family. Lifesong made the adoption of Les’ youngest granddaughter possible, and she was precious to him. Online condolences may be made at www.speakschapel.com (Arrangements: Speaks Chapel 816-373-3600)
January 19, 1947 - May 29, 202001/19/194705/29/2020
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Leslie R. “Bucky” Lemon, 73, went home to be with the Lord on May 29, 2020, in Independence, MO. Les was born on January 19, 1947, in Greenville, SC, the youngest child of Carlson Howard “Jimmy” Lemon and Diora Elizabeth Hyre Lemon. His family relocated to the Grandview, MO area when he was six years old. By God’s design, his neighbor was Betty Louise Vest, the young girl who would ultimately become his wife. God gave Les a scientist’s mind, and it was evident as he spent his childhood cond...

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Jun
05
Visitation
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06/05/2020 01:00 PM06/05/2020 02:00 PMOffline Friday, June 05 2020
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Speaks Suburban Chapel
Visitation
18020 E. 39th St.
INDEPENDENCE, INDEPENDENCEMO 64055
United States
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Leslie R. Lemon's visitation
Jun
05
Service
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06/05/2020 02:00 PMOffline Friday, June 05 2020
02:00 PM
Speaks Suburban Chapel
Service
18020 E. 39th St.
INDEPENDENCE, INDEPENDENCEMO 64055
United States
Get Directions
View MapTextEmail
Leslie R. Lemon's visitation