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Phillips University Legacy Scholars for 2016-2017
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|Lemon, Irene Alice (Campbell)||FS|
D.O.D 12/25/2013 - Irene Alice Campbell was born during a flood on May 14, 1918 to Tom and Martha Jones Campbell. The doctor hitched his buggy to a tree and waded in to the Kickapoo Mound Farm near Chandler, Oklahoma. Irene, always ahead of her time, had already arrived.
Irene grew up in Enid, Oklahoma and graduated from Enid High School in 1935. She served as student body secretary and played first chair violin in the All-State Orchestra. Irene's two older sisters attended Phillips University in Enid and both married Disciples of Christ ministers. Irene attended Phillips from 1935 to 1936. She met Haskell Lemon while she was a sophomore in high school and he was a senior and their courtship and marriage lasted 76 years. She also attended OU and studied biochemistry, lacking 12 hours toward her degree. For that reason, she supported higher education and post-graduate degrees for all her extended family members. She and Haskell also endowed the Lemon Learning Center at Phillips University, the Martha Jean Lemon Scholarships and Lectureship in Religion at OCU, and the Haskell and Irene Lemon Division of Construction Science at the University of Oklahoma.
No one worked harder or played harder than Irene. She loved fishing, fossils, gardening, and photography. She taught several generations to fish and water ski at "Uncle Hack's Cabin" on Lake Texoma. The grandkids called her nature walks "Bird Bye Bye's" and these outdoor adventures were usually followed by "Cake Break." Irene was also fully involved as a partner in the many business ventures of the family. Haskell was the visionary who saw that Oklahoma would need modern turnpikes, airports, and interstate highways. Irene was the marketing and financial detail person behind Haskell Lemon Construction Co. Irene and Haskell were among the earliest members of the National Asphalt Pavement Association and Irene served as national president of the NAPA Women.
Irene was a descendant of the homesteading Crews and Campbell families in Logan and Garfield counties. She was a lifelong member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a member of Crown Heights Christian Church in Oklahoma City since 1955.
Irene had three children: daughter Lynette Lemon Wert, daughter Martha Jean Lemon, and son Larry Lemon. She died December 26, 2013.