Charles D Lemmond, Jr
Born in Hazleton on Jan. 17, 1929, to Charles D. and Ruth Zierdt Lemmond, Charles grew up in Forty Fort and attended Forty Fort schools, graduating as president of his senior class. After a stint in the U.S. Army of Occupation, where he saw service in Italy, Charles attended Harvard with support from the G.I. Bill and majored in government. He excelled as the principal trumpet player in the Harvard Band and was spotlighted in an article in Collier's Magazine entitled, "Harvard Never Loses at Half-time." He received an A.B. from Harvard in 1952 and then went on to receive an LL.B. from The University of Pennsylvania's School of Law. Charles served as a law clerk for the Honorable Max Rosenn and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar, the Luzerne County Bar and many years later, was honored to be admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Following law school, Charles returned to the Wyoming Valley where he met and married Barbara Northrup. The couple lived briefly in Glen Summit and Forty Fort before moving to Dallas, where they have lived for more than 50 years and raised four children, Charles Lemmond, Austin, Texas; John Lemmond, Virginia Beach, Va.; Judith Lemmond, Dallas; David Lemmond, New York City, N.Y. He was tabbed by Luzerne County District Attorney Blythe Evans for the position of first assistant district attorney, and in that role he prosecuted and won a number of high-profile criminal cases. In 1980 he was appointed by Gov. Dick Thornburgh to serve as a judge of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, where he was the Orphans' Court judge. When Sen. Frank O'Connell announced his retirement from the Pennsylvania Senate, Charles was encouraged by Patrick J. Solano, Republican Party strategist, to throw his hat into the ring for the vacant Senate seat. After winning the Republican nomination in a hotly-contested race, Charles went on to win the Special Election in a landslide. He was the senator of the 20th Senatorial District from 1985 until his retirement in November 2006. Often referred to by his colleagues as "The Gentleman of the Senate," Charles chaired the State Government Committee and was vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He was a member on the criminal justice commission and the reapportionment task force of the national conference of state legislatures, and served as vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Board of Directors. His experience as a judge served the commonwealth well when he was named to the Senate Impeachment Trial Committee that weighed the charges against Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen. He sponsored many pieces of legislation, with none providing more personal satisfaction than the law requiring hearing screenings for newborns.
Charles was an active and involved participant in many community organizations. He was a 33rd-degree Mason, a member of the Caldwell Consistory, and served as potentate of the Nobility of Irem Shriners in 1979. Senator Lemmond died May 30, 2012 in Wilkes-Barre.
Published in Citizens' Voice on June 1, 2012