Edith J. Lemmon | Evangelist, 87

Edith J. Lemmon
Edith J. Lemmon
Posted: October 05, 2012

Edith Janet Lemmon, 87, an evangelist and retired church secretary who also operated a day-care center at her West Philadelphia home, died Sunday, Sept. 30, of Alzheimer's disease at Genesis Eldercare Cooper River East in Pennsauken.

Ms. Lemmon was born Sept. 16, 1925 - with twin sister Emily - in Philadelphia, the daughter of James Frank and Annie Byrd Lemmon. She was one of 11 children.

She attended Philadelphia schools and graduated from Murrell Dobbins Vocational Technical High School, where she earned a cosmetology license. In 1965, she graduated from Manna Bible Institute in Philadelphia. Three years latter, she was ordained as an evangelist minister.

In the 1940s, she met Paul Bains, whom she married in 1945. They had one daughter, Paula Janet West. The couple divorced, and in 1973, Ms. Lemmon married Carl Wagner, from whom she separated in 1986.

Devoted to the education and safety of children, Ms. Lemmon opened a licensed day-care center in 1967 at her home in West Philadelphia.

During the 1970s, she and her brother Herbert conducted Christian meetings on street corners and at Carroll Park in West Philadelphia.

After closing her day-care center in the 1970s, Ms. Lemmon worked as a secretary at Vine Memorial Baptist Church until she retired in the late 1980s. She moved to Pennsauken in 1994 to be near her relatives.

In addition to her daughter, Ms. Lemmon is survived by three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

A viewing will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Vine Memorial Baptist, 5600 W. Girard Ave. A funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Merion Memorial Park.

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