Laudious Vandel 'Del' Lemons Jr.
Laudious Vandel “Del” Lemons Jr. passed away at his home in Tomball on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at age 76.
Visitation with the family will begin at noon before funeral services in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel, and the funeral services will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 6. Rev. Steve Nance of the First United Methodist Church of Groesbeck will officiate, and burial will follow in the Faulkenberry Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be John R. Lemons, James Lemons, Jeff Campbell, Johnathan VanDerbeek, Joshua Campbell and Scott Shillingburg.
Del was born in Groesbeck on Jan. 14, 1938 to L.V. (Sr.) and Rosemary Lemons. Del was voted “Most Handsome” in his senior class of 1956, and had been a Groesbeck Goat football and track athlete. He moved to Houston after graduation where he worked for Western Auto and attended classes at the University of Houston. He served in the National Guard for seven years.
Del married Patti Franklin on May 23, 1958 in the Methodist Church of Groesbeck, and they raised two daughters, Lori and Jackie, in the Houston area. He lived in the northwest Houston area the rest of his life.
After several trips buying and selling cattle at an auction barn, Del decided he would like to be an auctioneer. He heard the chant of the auctioneer and the fast and furious movement of the auction and was hooked. He took two weeks vacation and attended Britten Auction Academy in Bryan in 1967. Del was taken under wing by a great auctioneer, the late James O. Lawlis Sr. (J.O.) who gave him his start in the auction profession. Del’s popularity came overnight.
Del Lemons owned and operated Del Lemons Co., Inc. in Houston for over 29 years. He conducted auctions for many divisions of Shell Oil Company, Exxon, Cameron Iron Works, Petty Ray Geophysical, and many specialized fields of the auction industry. In 2000, Del decided to retire his auction business, and became a strong contributor to the success of Lemons Auctioneers, LLP in Tomball, which is the business of his two daughters. Naturally, while growing up they “spoke auction” at home and both were natural-born auctioneers of whom he was very proud. He spent his final years as their chief auctioneer, administrator, appraiser and adviser for Lemons Auctioneers.
Del was a Texas icon in the auction field. He was a member of the Texas Auctioneers Association and a past board member and second vice president of the TAA. He was inducted into the Texas Auctioneers Hall of Fame in 2009, and won the Senior Division of the Texas Auctioneers Contest in 2010. During his career, Del had conducted every type of auction. He was known to auctioneers worldwide as “The Wild Man” and “Lightnin.” He lived and breathed the auction industry. When he took the microphone, his voice and chant would demand the audience's attention. Helping others was an outstanding principle of his life and he was also a good listener. He took many young people under his wing. He was a great friend to those who knew him, who would help anyone, anywhere, anytime.
In his spare time, Del also loved hunting for Indian artifacts, fishing, hunting and more auctions (when not holding the auction, he loved attending, watching or buying.)
Del was preceded in death by his father, L.V. Lemons Sr., and a grandson, Kenneth Randell Campbell.
He is survived by his mother, Rosemary Parish of Groesbeck; daughters, Jackie Lemons-Shillingburg and husband Scott of Tomball and Lori Lemons-Campbell and husband Jeff of Magnolia; grandchildren, Johnathan VanDerbeek of Conroe, Trey Shillingburg of Tomball, Joshua Campbell of Crosby and Veronica Weaver of Magnolia; great-grandchildren, Matthew VanDerbeek, Baylien Campbell, Decklin Campbell and Lincoln Campbell; and brothers, James Lemons of Houston and John R. Lemons of Paris, Kentucky.