MAHOMET — Leamon Kemp Jessup — “Lee/Paw-Paw” — 66, of Mahomet died at 7:05 a.m. Sunday (Aug. 20, 2017) at Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana.
Lee was born on Sept. 9, 1950, in Urbana to Annie L. and Bobby Gene Jessup.
Lee is survived by his mother, Annie Jessup; wife, Beverly Jessup; three sons, Jeremy (Nichole), Joshua and Joel (Katie); one daughter, Annie Jane Anglin (Tyler); and three stepchildren, Jacquie Guevara (Matthew), Megan Berry (Lance) and Jake Foley. Lee was blessed with nine grandchildren.
Lee was preceded in death by his father, Bobby Gene Jessup, and brother, Robert G. Jessup.
Lee was a graduate of Illinois State University with a B.S. in education and M.S. in educational administration and worked as a school administrator for over 30 years, retiring in 2005 as principal of Lincoln Trail Elementary School in Mahomet.
Lee began his teaching career in Normal Community School District where he was also a football and wrestling coach. Lee was also an IHSA wrestling official in his spare time during that period.
Lee and his family moved to Mahomet in 1978 when he took the principal’s position at the Seymour Grade School, and when Mahomet and Seymour consolidated he was moved to Lincoln Trail Elementary where he finished his career. Lee spent time as transportation director for the M-S School District.
He was also an elected member of the Mahomet Village Board for a period of time.
Lee believed in the community and wanted to leave things better than he found them
and worked hard to show that example and live those expectations for his family and community members.
Lee believed in community service and sought out ways to serve others. He exemplified what it meant to be a community member — he believed if you were in a community, you had an obligation to serve in that community.
Lee was a believer in faith, family, fellowship and freedom — he was a patriot through and through and stood up for the U.S. flag and Constitution.
Lee was a volunteer coach for his sons for baseball, wrestling and football. He could be found on the sidelines or in the bleachers at athletic events for his children and grandchildren or in the auditorium for musicals and drama club productions or at M-S Marching Bulldog shows.
Lee, before and into retirement, spent time as a mentor in the M-S schools for teachers, staff and most important to him, students. He founded Lee J’s Firehouse Golf and Arcades and Tropical Sno to provide a safe place for his kids to work and community children to play — ultimately donating the Tropical Sno franchise to the Mahomet Area Youth Club.
Lee worked hard and played harder! He rarely missed an opportunity to enjoy a practical joke or a chance to “stir the pot,” so to speak. His smile and laughter were infectious and will be missed!
Lee held leadership positions in nearly every organization he’d been involved in and has left a legacy in and around the community. Lee dedicated over 40 years of service as a volunteer firefighter at Bloomington Township and Cornbelt Fire Protection District, retiring in April 2017 as a trustee at Cornbelt Fire Protection District in Mahomet.
Lee was an instrumental and dedicated member of the Mahomet Area Youth
Club’s Executive Board and believed wholeheartedly in their mission and work in and around the Mahomet Community.
Lee was a member of the Mahomet United Methodist Church and instilled the biblical teachings of the church throughout the fabric of his life and family. Lee was a Freemason and a member of Mahomet Lodge 220.
Lee was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
The family would love to share with any community members who wish to visit on Wednesday, Aug. 23, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Mahomet United Methodist Church at 1302 E. South Mahomet Road.
Additionally, there will be a Celebration of Life Memorial Service at 11 a.m. at the church on Thursday, followed by a fellowship meal.
Services are being handled by Blair-Owens Funeral Home and officiated by the Rev. John K. McIntosh.
Even in death, Lee has sought to provide an opportunity for learning and teaching and has requested his body be donated to Northwestern Medical School.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy (Lee despised flowers at funerals), please make any memorial contributions to the Mahomet Area Youth Club, the Mahomet-Seymour Education Foundation or the Cornbelt Fire Protection District Firefighters Fund.
Lee’s signature from his emails sums up his priorities — “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” — Joshua 24:15.
Condolences may be offered at www.owensfuneralhomes. com.