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Published: Saturday, 8/22/2009

Railroad engineer eyed 2nd life at sea

Richard A. Lemon, a railroad engineer who hoped to become a yacht captain after he retired, died of a heart attack Wednesday in his Point Place apartment. He was 57.

Mr. Lemon went to work for the B&O Railroad in October, 1970, five months after his graduation from Clay High School.

He started out as a switchman at the Rossford yard, then was promoted to conductor. By 1988, the B&O was part of CSX, which sent Mr. Lemon to engineer's school in Cincinnati that year.

Mr. Lemon remained an engineer until his death, working over the years out of terminals in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Most recently, he had worked the route between Willard, Ohio, and Chicago.

"He really liked the work," his son, Richard, said. "He was a diehard about his job. He got his identity from it."

Mr. Lemon was making preparations for his retirement, for which he would become eligible when he turned 60. He recently qualified for a Coast Guard captain's license, and planned to move to Florida for a second career as a yacht captain.

Mr. Lemon grew up in Ottawa Hills and Oregon, the son of Dr. George and Charlotte Lemon.

He and his wife, Rebecca, were married from 1976 to 1989. He and his second wife, the late Terry Lemon, were married for 17 years, but were estranged for the latter half of that period.

Mr. Lemon served in the Ohio National Guard from 1970 to 1976. He enjoyed fishing on Lake Erie and hunting deer in southern Ohio, according to his son, Daniel. His memberships included the United Transportation Union and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

Surviving are his daughter, Kimberly; sons, Richard II, Daniel, and Michael, and four grandchildren.

Services will be at 7 p.m. Monday in the Newcomer Funeral Home, 4150 West Laskey Rd., where the body will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow and two hours before the funeral.

The family requests tributes to the Parkinson's Research Foundation.

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