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1927 Alma 2023

Alma Jean Lemonds

January 19, 1927 — August 18, 2023

Jean Work Lemonds of Stone Mountain, GA, passed away peacefully in the presence of family on August 18, 2023. She was born on January 19, 1927, in Abilene, TX, to Mabel Scott Work and William James Work. While growing up, she also lived in Brookhaven MS, and Suffolk, VA. Both of her parents were church musicians and, not surprisingly, Jean began violin lessons at an early age and spent time singing in church.

She graduated from Suffolk High School in Suffolk, VA, and then attended Shorter College in Rome, GA for one year, and subsequently attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree in violin and voice in 1948. As a scholarship student in violin, she studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City in 1948. In 1949, she married William Whitlock Lemonds and they had three children while in Oklahoma City, OK. They later lived in Kansas City, MO, Sewanee, TN, and then Atlanta, Georgia.

She began her musical journey during college one summer when she sang as a member of The Lost Colony symphonic drama on Roanoke Island, NC. Jean was a professional violinist with the Oklahoma City Symphony for five years. Wishing to share her talents with others, she began teaching as an instructor of voice at Southwest Texas State (1948-1949) and later as a choral instructor at the Barstow School in Kansas City, MO. She taught string instruments in the Dekalb Co. Public Schools (1965-1968) in Atlanta, was a faculty affiliate voice teacher at Emory University, and soprano soloist at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta (1963-1977). Jean also served as a voice instructor at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, (1978-1984). Other jobs included medical transcriptionist at Emory University Clinic (1969-1978) and Atlanta Plastic Surgery (1985-1993). She also worked for the CDC as a Clerk Typist (1984-1985). She worked in the Alumni and Development Offices of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, (1961-1963) and at Emory University (1967-1968).

In 1955, while married with three young children in Oklahoma City, Jean contracted the polio virus. She went for six months of intensive treatment at the Sister Elizabeth Kenny Institute in Minneapolis, MN, where she learned to walk with the aid of crutches and to recover many everyday physical skills. No longer able to play the violin, Jean changed her primary focus to voice, and what a beautiful soprano voice she shared with audiences over the decades! Jean faced this challenge with courage and conviction, choosing to live as normal a life as possible. She never considered herself handicapped and didn't want others to either. She walked with crutches up until the mid 90's when braces were added. Jean was known for her beautiful rendering of the soprano solos in the masterworks of Bach, and other choral works of Mozart, Brahms, Handel, and Beethoven.

Over time, she transitioned to a power wheelchair. It was always great (sometimes scary) to see her boldly zipping around in her chair and going with Stella, her best friend, or family in her van to Stone Mountain Park! Jean lived her last nineteen years at Park Springs senior living community in Stone Mountain, GA. Most of that time was spent in Independent Living, the last five at Pebblebrook at Park Springs skilled nursing after an accident when she was "walking a dog". The family wishes to thank the staff at Pebblebrook for all your loving kindness during her time there. Each of you brightened every day for her!

Jean was rich in friends! She was fortunate to have Stella as a dear friend and traveling companion, enabling her to attend multiple graduations and weddings of her six granddaughters in Tampa, FL, and Charlottesville, VA. In addition, her church family at Living Grace Lutheran Church provided lots of love and support, and was a community in which she could live out her strong abiding faith in God.

A Celebration of Jean's life will be held on Saturday, September 23, at 2:00 PM at Living Grace Lutheran Church in Tucker, GA. It will be live-streamed.

She was the rock of our family and will be remembered (and greatly missed) for her love of family, gentleness, kindness, patience, tenacity, positive attitude, generosity, good sense of humor, broad curiosity, creativity, love of animals (particularly dogs), her unparalleled musicianship, and the ability to laugh at herself.

Surviving are her children: Ardath Krist (Dr. Stephen) of Tampa, FL; Dulcy Giuliano of Charlottesville, VA; and Dr. Peter Lemonds of Duluth, GA. She is also survived by six granddaughters: Sarah Pipkin (Jeremy) and Lindsey Hill (Ed) of Birmingham, AL; Abby McEntire (Dr. Clay) of Tampa, FL; Natalie Wood (Daniel), Mindy Foster (Shane), and Lauren Thraves of Charlottesville, VA. In addition, she is survived by fifteen great grandchildren: Andrew and Margaret Pipkin; Wade and Walt Hill; Arden, Rosie, James, Mary Clayton, and John Mark McEntire; Callie and Carter Wood; Addi, Raleigh, and Wyatt Foster; and Trip Thraves.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Living Grace Lutheran Church at 1812 Cooledge Road, Tucker, GA. 30084; FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults And Children) 4900 Lewis Road, Tucker, GA. 30083; or the Humane Society.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alma Jean Lemonds, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Family Hosted Memorial Service

Saturday, September 23, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Living Grace Lutheran Church

1812 Cooledge Road, Tucker, GA 30084

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