COLUMBIA – Barbara Fowler Lemmon, widow of Charles J. Lemmon, M.D., died in her sleep on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, at Covenant Place in Sumter after several years of declining health. She was 86.
Born in Columbia on August 1, 1931, Barbara Mary Fowler was the daughter of Helen Jennings Grassfield Fowler and Victor George Fowler. Growing up on Wheat Street, she was schooled at Hand Junior High and Dreher High School. She attended Columbia College and received a B.A. (English) from the University of South Carolina in 1952.
As the reigning Azalea Queen, she represented South Carolina on the state’s float in the Eisenhower inaugural parade in 1953. A striking beauty, she was described in the press at that time as “blonde, willowy blue-eyed Barbara Fowler.” After college she lived for several years in New York City where she was a model at the renowned fashion house of Hattie Carnegie.
Returning to Columbia, she married Dr. Lemmon, a surgeon, in 1955 at her childhood church on Wheat Street, St. John’s Episcopal Church. Career girl quickly adapted to being homemaker and mother to four children. With boundless energy, her circle was not limited to her family. Barbara had a host of friends spanning generations and shared in their joys and sorrows, always bringing delicious dishes from her kitchen and roses from her garden.
As her children grew up, Barbara’s lifelong love of books drew her back to the University where she earned a Masters in Library Science in 1977. This opened a whole new world. She was librarian at Crayton School and at the Cooper Branch Library on Trenholm Road. She fielded queries as reference librarian at the Main Branch of the Richland County Library. She was the librarian for the Journalism School at USC, where she also worked for several years archiving the Fox MovieTone news collection.
She served on the Altar Guild at St. John’s and later at St. Martins-in-the-Fields near her home on Greenhill Road, where the Lemmon family lived for more than four decades. She was a member of the Columbia Medical Society Auxiliary, Columbia Garden Club and Forest Lake Club.
Survivors include her daughter, Helen Jennings Lemmon Couch, and son-in-law, William Stuart Couch; her two sons, Charles James Lemmon, III, and Robert Allen Lemmon and his fiancée, Sandy Baxter, all of Columbia; and two grandsons, William Gordon Couch, II, serving in the U.S. Navy, and Chandler Lemmon Couch, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
She was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Lemmon; her daughter, Grace Brogdon Lemmon; her sister, Eleanor Forrest Fowler Caughman (Mrs. G.P. Jr.), and her brother, Robert Victor Fowler.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, February 27 from 5:00 to 7:30 at the home of Helen and Bill Couch, 200 Alexander Circle, Gregg Park, in Columbia. Interment in the Lemmon plot in the Sumter Cemetery will be private.
The family wishes to thank Covenant Place in Sumter for their care and kindness. Memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
You may go to www.bullockfuneralhome.com and sign the family’s guest book.
The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.
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Celebrating the life of Barbara Fowler Lemmon
Thank you for signing Barbara Fowler Lemmon 's Guestbook
Jennifer Lazo lit a candle for Barbara Fowler Lemmon
Jennifer Lazo lit a candle on Mar 6 2018 02:17:43 PM
Reset in peace Aunt Barbara
Submitted by Robert Fowler Caughman on Mar 1 2018 03:47:29 PM
Just heard about Barbara tonight! Charles, Helen, and Robert, I am thinking of you and remembering you in my prayers. I will miss seeing her at Covenat Place.
Submitted by Beth Propst on Feb 27 2018 11:31:50 PM
Our family was saddened to hear about Barbara's passing. She was a true southern lady admired by all her knew here.
Casey and Georgia Brogdon
Mt Pleasant, SC
Submitted by Casey Brogdon on Feb 26 2018 07:40:13 PM
My sincere condolences to the family. May the God of all comfort give you the comfort you need to endure this difficult time and the days ahead (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)
Submitted by gc on Feb 25 2018 09:51:05 AM
Sorry to hear of the death of your family member, Barbara F. Lemmon. May Almighty God sustain you at this time of such great loss. May you find comfort in knowing that your loved one is safe in his memory and he will remember every detail about her and bring her back again. Acts 24:15
Submitted by Phyllis J on Feb 23 2018 08:01:30 PM
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