Word came Thursday that long-time State Senator Charles Lemmond of Luzerne County’s Back Mountain has died.
Friends of his were sad Thursday learning he passed away Wednesday night.
They said he had been sick during the past couple months, and added he will definitely be missed in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Senator Lemmond of Dallas died after a lifetime of community service: assistant district attorney, Luzerne County judge, then 21 years as the state senator for the 20th District.
Newswatch 16 talked with him the night he won that seat in 1985.
“What gave you the victory tonight?” Lemmond was asked. “I suspect that the friends and following we’ve built up living a lifetime in this great fantastic 20th district,” he responded.
Lemmond went on to fight for the Route 6 bypass around Tunkhannock that opened in 2000, a big project in Wyoming County.
His colleagues said he worked hard to secure funding for construction of what is now the Mohegan Sun Arena.
At Misericordia University the performing arts theater is named for him and his family, the Lemmond Theater.
“He was an outstanding individual. He represented this area in more ways than just in the Pennsylvania Senate. He was a representative of the area. He was a gentleman. He was a scholar and he was down to earth,” said Misericordia University President Michael MacDowell.
He had breakfast with Lemmond every Monday.
The university theater is named for a man who went to Harvard on a full scholarship and Penn law school.
“Two Ivy League institutions and he was a proud graduate of each, but if you met him on the street you would not know it. He just wore his intellect and academic abilities very well,” MacDowell added.
Former Dallas Township Police Chief Carl Miers also considered the senator a friend.
“I felt bad. He’s a real honest man, real high integrity and I’ve known him for 40 some years,” Miers said.
“He was not only a senator but he was a friend and a mentor,” said staffer Tom Yoniski. He worked with Lemmond in his district office, a district that spans most counties in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Senator Lisa Baker now represents that district. She was a former aide to Lemmond. He had many friends. Some of his closest are still in the district office.
“We may have lost him as a person, but we’ll never ever forget the memories that we have with him,” Baker said.
Funeral Arrangements have not been released yet. Lemmond was 82 years old.