Jeanne Mitchell McLemore was born September 23 into the loving arms of her parents, Ruth and Garland Mitchell, and her brother, Kenneth. Jeanne grew up on the family farm in Monroe County, Missouri, near Madison. She often described herself as a “daddy’s girl,” as she loved to be with her dad in the fields, often driving a tractor, taking care of the animals, and riding her ponies. She loved being outdoors, planting and taking care of the flowers and garden. Jeanne was especially close to her brother, Kenneth, who would take Jeanne and her friends to the movies in nearby Moberly, Missouri.
She attended rural Woodlawn School and later graduated from Madison High School in 1947. While at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, she studied elementary education and fashion design. She was selected to model her designs at Famous-Barr department store in Saint Louis, Missouri. Jeanne always had classic elegance and style that were evident from her college days and throughout her life.
In 1951, she married Robert McLemore (Mack), who also attended Madison High School. After Mack graduated from the University of Missouri Dental School in Kansas City, Mack and Jeanne set up their dental practice in Paris, Missouri. Their first child, Robert Mitchell McLemore, was born Friday, June 26, 1953. It was during the Korean Conflict that Mack was drafted and stationed in Manheim, Germany. Jeanne and Mack especially enjoyed their time in Germany, making lifelong friends and traveling. Upon their return to the United States, they settled in Osceola, which they would forever call home. Shortly after moving to Osceola, their daughter Joyce was born in December, followed by their daughter Lynda in May 1960. In October 1957, they opened their dental practice and enjoyed meeting the dental needs of their patients until November 1990, when Mack passed away due to complications from cancer.
Jeanne was strongly devoted to her family, always there to support and encourage them. During her children’s school years, she was a room mother and an active supporter of the PTA. She believed strongly in the value of education, supporting Osceola Schools and college for her daughters. Her children, grandchildren, and great granddaughters were a source of great happiness to Jeanne. She delighted in family gatherings, celebrations, and cooking and hosting Sunday family dinners. Also, Jeanne loved and enjoyed a fun time with her friends, whether it was shopping, meeting for lunch, or playing bridge. Jeanne was a long-time member of the Osceola Christian Church. Her strong faith was especially evident during the loss of her son Bob and daughter Lynda, which no parent should have to endure, as well as during the loss of her beloved parents, brother, and husband. Her faith and strength were yet again challenged when she battled breast cancer. Nevertheless, despite her many heartbreaking losses and struggles, Jeanne remained exquisitely gracious, and compassionate – and will perhaps best be remembered for her extraordinary dignity, determination, and monumental kindness.
Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents, Garland and Ruth Mitchell; her husband, Robert C. McLemore; son Robert Mitchell McLemore; daughter Lynda Jeanne McLemore Meredith; brother Kenneth Mitchell; nephew Roger Mitchell; niece Laura Bigelow Burg; and baby sister, Marilyn Joyce Mitchell. Jeanne is survived by her daughter Joyce McLemore Schmelzle and husband George; grandchildren Whitney Ann and Chantz Shepherd, Robert and Cassie Wilson, Elisabeth Jeanne Wilson, Stephen Schmelzle, and Megan Schmelzle; great granddaughters Kenadey Ann and Lynley Rae Shepherd; son-in-law Eddie Dale Meredith; nieces Janet Huffman, Carla Mitchell, Ellen Hufty, Robin Burham, and Nancy White; and her beloved sister-in-law, Jo Bigelow.
It is said that, with God, there are no coincidences: On Friday, June 26, 2020, on the same day of the month and of the week that she had welcomed her first child into the world 67 years earlier, Jeanne was welcomed into her heavenly home. For us, her life will always be treasured and never forgotten. She will be so very missed by her family and all who knew her, but we are grateful that she will now rejoin her husband, son, daughter, brother, mother, father, sister, dear friends, and other loved ones in Heaven.