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Joyce Belle Lemon

Joyce Belle Lemon Joyce Belle Lemon passed away November 21, 2017, at her home in Manhattan, Kansas, after courageously battling stage-four breast cancer that had metastasized to her bones and spinal fluid. In 1989, she was treated at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. She underwent an experimental protocol with chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and finally more chemotherapy. She was cancer-free for 28 years, when approximately 14 months ago, we learned the cancer had spread to her bones. While battling the disease, she embraced life with her family and friends until the end. Her daughter, Cara, took leave from her work to be with and help take care of her mom for the last 14 months.

Joyce was born in Pittsburg, Kansas, on July 12, 1945, the daughter and only child of Lester L. Morarity and Dorothy I. Morarity (Hunsaker). She was proceeded in death by both. Joyce attended school in Pittsburg, where uniquely she attended grade school, junior high, and high school all on the same campus of Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg (now Pittsburg State University). Her family home was within four blocks of the college campus.

As a child and teen, Joyce was an excellent student and also very athletic. At that time, female athletic programs were not available at her high school or college. She enjoyed being a cheerleader, twirler, and head majorette in the band throughout her high school years. She taught twirling for the Pittsburg recreational department and continued twirling for the college band all four years.

Throughout the years, Joyce maintained and cherished many friendships stemming from her experiences, beginning in kindergarten, from the little campus.

After graduating in 1967 from KSTC of Pittsburg, Joyce began her teaching career as a second grade teacher in Webb City, Missouri. She loved teaching and continued teaching second graders at Garfield Elementary in Ottawa, Kansas. After marriage to Ron Lemon in 1970, she retired when she and Ron moved to Wichita. In 1973, due to Ron’s employment relocation, the couple initiated the adoption process, and learned that the chances for adoption were enhanced with a stay-at-home parent. While in Wichita, Joyce did volunteer work for the Kansas Logopedics Institute.

Joyce and Ron moved to Manhattan, Kansas, in 1977 due to Ron’s transfer from the claims department to agency. She immediately became a Wildcat fan and season ticket holder. She especially enjoyed watching and rooting for basketballer Eddie Nealy, who was a student in her very first year of teaching second grade in Webb City, Missouri. Eddie was a star player for the Wildcats. In addition to being a season ticket holder for both football and basketball, she also was a member of The Ahearn Fund President’s Club.

Joyce was involved in many Manhattan activities to go along with parenting, having been PTA president at Roosevelt Elementary School. She also held memberships in the TPM Club, Sunflower Pilot Club, and Manhattan Women’s Bowling Association.

She was a strong Christian and member of the University Christian Church. She loved watching Wildcat sports, bowling, and playing penny slots at the casino. Joyce made many lifelong friends from all of her activities as well from her residence and neighborhoods. She was a loving and caring mother and wife, and was an angel on Earth to her family and friends. She is survived by her husband, Ron Lemon of the home, and children Chad Lemon, Hutchinson, Kansas, and Cara Lemon, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A celebration of her life Visitation will be held Sunday, November 26, from 5:00 to 6:30pm at Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue in Manhattan.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 27, at 11:00am at the University Christian Church Auditorium, 2800 Claflin Road in Manhattan, with Reverend David Pape officiating. Burial will follow at Sunrise Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to the Hilton Garden Inn for a light lunch after the burial service.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in care of Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be left for the family at this webpage by clicking on "Send Condolences."

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