Jean “Peggy” Lemons, 83, most recently of Beaufort, NC, passed away on April 14, 2022, surrounded by her family. A Celebration of Life service will be held at The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum on Harkers Island, NC, on Tuesday, April 19th, 2022 at 2pm.
Peggy, born to Stancil and Josephine Hamilton in Raleigh, NC, immediately brought joy, laughter, and spunk into the world as their first born. Peggy enjoyed school and played basketball as a guard in high school when ladies were only allowed to play half court. She graduated from Seventy First High School in Fayetteville, NC, as an honors student and was voted Most Likely to Succeed. After graduating from high school, Peggy was one of the first from her family to go to college. She went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Chemistry at her beloved North Carolina State University, graduating with Honors. She also cheered on the Wolfpack as a cheerleader for the football team.
At North Carolina State University, she met a fellow student from Hayesville at the student union named Richard Lemons, and the two were inseparable from that point on. Richard and Peggy were married on the campus of NC State university in 1963, enjoyed over forty-nine years of marriage and had two daughters, Jennifer and Suzanne.
Peggy was a fiercely dedicated mom to her daughters, raising both on their farm in Candler, NC, with Richard while they both worked at American Enka. The Lemons were seen at many of their daughter’s volleyball and basketball games and track meets, always supportive of the whole team. Peggy loved her garden, growing flowers, and many vegetables wherever she lived. Her homemade grape juice and cherry preserves were the best addition to her world-famous homemade biscuits. Once they retired and moved to Harkers Island, Peggy made use of the big fig tree at their house making pickled figs, dried figs, and fig jam to share with friends and neighbors.
Peggy fell in love with polymer chemistry in college, which sparked a long career in research and sales with the same employer. Peggy and Richard started working at American Enka (eventually bought by BASF) on the same day. The two also retired on the same day, 30 years later. They met many lifelong friends during their careers in Asheville, NC, and Williamsburg, VA. After retiring to Harkers Island in the 1990s, Peggy and Richard volunteered at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum where Peggy also served as a Board member for several years. She and Richard also helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity and volunteered at their ReStore in Morehead City.
The hole left by her absence is impossible to fill. Her legacy of spirit, determination, independence, and serving others continues to live on in her family and friends.
Peggy was preceded in death by her parents, Stancil and Josephine Hamilton, her husband, Richard, her brothers, Marvin and James Hamilton (Faye), and Josephine’s second husband, Ward Rummage. She is survived by daughters, Suzanne Wieringo (Matt) of Richmond, VA, and Jennifer Johnson of Beaufort, grandchildren, Ricky and Lily Johnson of Greenville, sister Patti McDonald (Wayne) of Fayetteville, brother Ernest Hamilton (Margaret) of Pittsboro, sister-in-law Gale Hamilton of Meadows of Dan, VA, and other extended family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Peggy’s name to The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum, 1785 Island Road, Harkers Island, NC 28531.