NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — Herman G. “Jiggs” Lemley, 81, of North Fort Myers, Fla., went to be with his Lord and Savior on April 30, 2009, at his home surrounded by his family.
He was born Nov. 22, 1927, in Parkersburg, W.Va., to the late Abram and Gladys (Stephens) Lemley. Jiggs graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1946. He was a well-known steel guitarist in the field of country music all of his life. He worked with Hawkshaw Hawkins starting in 1948 at WW VA Jamboree in Wheeling, W.Va. Jiggs worked with many country music stars including several from the Grand Ole Opry and throughout the eastern United States and Canada. His musical legacy can been seen at www.hillbilly-music.com, including his induction into the Florida Country Music Associations Hall of Fame.
He owned and operated Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens from 1966-76 before moving to Fort Myers, Fla. While there Jiggs worked in sales and continued playing country music. His band Southern Sundown won Florida State band of the year in 1989.
He is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Marie; sons, Mike Lemley of Mount Gilead, Ohio, John Lemley of Mount Vernon, Ohio, Roger Lemley of Columbus, Ohio; daughters, Kimberly Lemley of Mount Vernon, Ohio, Beverly Sobers of Fredericktown, Ohio; stepsons, David Thomas of North Fort Myers, Fla., Dean Thomas of Columbus, Ohio; five grandchildren, Mark Owens, Joshua Lemley, Kimmie Sobers, Chad Sobers and David Stout; two great-grandchildren, Mackenzie Rine and Jarred Lemley; three sisters, Wilma (Ernie) Wilson, Linda (Foster) Vannoy of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Evelyn (Mike) Davis of Camdenton, Mo.; two brothers, Carl (Liz) Lemley of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Wiley Lemley of Vienna, W.Va.; brother -in-law, Robert Naylor of Vienna, W.Va.; several nieces and nephews; sisters-in-law, Barbara (John) Judge, Virginia (Clifford) Goins of Maryville, Tenn., Shirley (Dominick) Tacelli of Mo.; brother-in-law, Robert (Joyce) Quaranta of Olympia, Wash.; many friends; and his canine friend, Kimmie Sue.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by three sisters, Margaret Cline, Dorothy Foley Flannigan, Shirley Naylor; one brother, Fred (Elma) Lemley; sister-in-law, Mariettia Lemley; two daughters-in-law, Judy and Janice Lemley.
A private service will be held on Monday, May 4, at noon at the Horizon Funeral in Fort Myers, Fla. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to the charity of one’s choice.