Esther Maude Lemons, 80, of Sheridan, Wyoming, died Saturday, November 10, 2012 at her residence.
Maude was born January 4, 1932 at home in Lamar County, near Paris Texas, to Walter D. and Maude B. (Patterson) Stricklin. She joined brothers Leo (15), James (13), and Harold (11). The family moved north of Nocona, Texas in Montague County in November of 1934. She grew up on a farm and lived there until January of 1950. Maude attended her first two years of school at Valley View School. It then consolidated with Prairie Point School and became Prairie Valley School. Maude played on the girls volley ball team as a set up during her sophomore and Junior years. They wouldn’t let her play her senior year because she was married. Maude married Waford Lemons February 26, 1949. They later divorced in February of 1988. Maude worked as a cashier at several grocery stores, a clerk at department stores, a maid at motels, a case maker making billfolds and key chains at Justin Leather Goods and Vamp Stitcher at Webster and Justin Book Company the first few years after graduating from High School in 1950. Waford was in the Air Force from April 1952 until April 1956. During this time they had 2 little boys, Ronnie (1953) and David (1955). The family came to Wyoming after his discharge and followed oil rigs around to several states before settling in Sheridan in May of 1962. During all these years Maude had become a Master Seamstress, designing and making Wafords’ western shirts as well as the boys and herself clothes. She also made shirts for other people. After moving to Sheridan where they had cows, chickens, and a big garden (from which she canned) Maude also worked as a maid at a motel. Maude sold Avon for 2 years, then went to work at Woolworths’ when they built the new store. From there she went to the V. A. Hospital as a cook at the Canteen for over 3 and ½ years. In June of 1968 the Lemon’s bought the 5th Street Conoco. After loosing Ronnie (15) on July 21, 1969 in a motorcycle accident, they went on to incorporate other businesses with the station. First was the taxi service, renamed 5th St. Cab. The Lemons became the U-Haul dealer for this area and bought the Lee Motel and property on N. Main. Having not gone back to work at the Canteen after Ronnie’s death, Maude kept busy keeping several sets of books and running the motel. Waford was always looking for her a part-time job. He said she had midnight to 6 A. M. available. “Ha”. The Lemons’ sold everything in 1975 and then bought Bear Lodge Resort in 1979 which they ran until May of 1993. After getting 2 “new knees”, Maude hit the road and had 15 years of traveling in every state but Hawaii. She always said she would go there when they built a road. Maude went to 5 provinces in Canada and several places in Mexico before problems breathing “clipped her wings” in 2008.
Mrs. Lemons was preceded in death by her parents; brothers; and son.
She is survived by one son, David (Debby); one grandson, Chip (Tracy); granddaughters Meegan Urbanek (Ken), Molly Mountain and Margret Shaffer; great grandchildren Andra and Alec Lemons, Ali and Harper Shaffer, and Lilly Mountain.
Memorial service will be 1:00 P. M. Saturday, November 17, 2012 at Champion Ferries Funeral Home with Pastor Doug Goodwin officiating. Inurnment will be in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery. Arrangements are with Champion Ferries Funeral Home.
Memorials in memory of Mrs. Lemons may be made to the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter, 84 East Ridge Road, Sheridan, WY 82801