5/4/50 - 12/27/2016
VINCENT CHESTER LEMONS was born on May 4, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the first born child to Walter and Sadie Lemons Jr. He received his formal education in Chicago, where he attended Inglewood High. He accepted Christ as his personal Savior at a very young age. In 1966, he joined the United States Navy, where he was assigned to the USS Forrestal and served in the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in 1970.
In February 1971, Vincent Lemons and Elaine Johnson were united in marriage and to that union Ayanna Sherese was born. They later relocated to San Diego, California where he was employed with FedMart Warehouse International Distribution Center in Miramar. He was employed there for several years and served as the Union Steward for Teamsters 542. While employed at FedMart, he met and later married Pamela Gilbert in July 1977. Vincent proudly fathered Porscha Nicole Smith and in March 1981 Tiffany Chanel was born to that union. In 1987, Vincent was employed by Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina where he served as a dedicated and exemplary employee for 29 years. In 1991, Mailman and Elizabeth Nelson established a companionship that lasted 24 years as a result of their common interests and affiliations. In September 2016 he married Rochelle Douglas.
Vincent was affectionately known by many as “Mailman”, a name he acquired in the earlier years, when he was employed with the United States Postal Service. Mailman had a variety of hobbies and special interests. He had a passion for photography and in the early 1980’s he started his own business, “Lemons Photography”. He also taught the basic concept of photography and dark room development at the Elementary Institute of Science. He was intrigued with motorcycles and began collecting them well before learning how to ride them. He was a member of the Black Sabbath and Royal Aces Motorcycle Clubs. Mailman was an animal lover and he always had a pet which included fish, dogs and exotic reptiles (snakes, lizards and geckos). He received his black belt in Tang Soo Do Karate under the instruction of Grandmaster Gary Amen. Mailman was always doing SOMETHING whether it was line dancing, learning to play the acoustic, electric and bass guitar, collecting western memorabilia or skydiving at the age of 65 just to name a few! He was a big fan of Star Trek, Star Wars and he was a die-hard Oakland Raider fan. Mailman was involved in the community and as a Veteran he became a member of the VFW Post 5179. There he served as a First Seam Squirrel (Commander) under the Military Order of the Cooties. Post 5179 later united with Post 4636 (National City). Mailman later transferred his lifetime membership to Post 2111 (Chula Vista). He is also a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 310.
Due to his interest for TV westerns, rodeos and cowboys, Mailman became quite the historian of the facts regarding Black Cowboys of the Old West and the Black Cavalry. As a result of his passion for preserving the rich legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers, he was the dedicated founding President of the 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Association San Diego Chapter Buffalo Soldiers (An Official Army Unit). He served two consecutive terms as President and up until his passing, served as Vice President.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sadie B. Washington and Walter Lemons Jr.
On Tuesday, December 27, 2016 Vincent Chester Lemons “Mailman” was called from earthly labor to eternal rest. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife Rochelle; daughters, Ayanna Johnson (Damon), Porscha Smith-Hopkins (Tyrone) and Tiffany Taliaferro (Charles); sisters and brothers, Deborah Lemons, Dale Lemons (Jackie), Dr. Vedia Jackson (Dr. Samuel Jackson), Denise Lemons, Vicky Jackson (Randy), Dinah Roberts (Eddie) and Derick Washington; grandchildren, Chase Mays, Kameelah Hopkins, Chandler Jackson, Kareemah Hopkins, Christopher and Liah Taliaferro; extended family, The Thomas Family and The Marriott Family and a host of relatives and many friends. He will truly be missed and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts.