LTC John B. Lemma passed peacefully in his sleep at home on September 29, 2013, with his wife by his side. He was born January 5, 1920, in Linnton, Oregon, to Joseph and Maria (Cornacchia) Lemma. John grew up and attended schools in Linnton, Oregon, graduating from Linnton High School. He also graduated from Behnke Walker Business College and U.S. Army Finance School at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In 1941, he married Geraldine Dugger; she preceded him in death in 1980. In 1981, he married Loretta Grove in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Lemma began his military career in December 1941 at Camp Roberts, California. He remained on active duty in the Pacific Campaign until December 17, 1945. John joined the Oregon National Guard February 1, 1948 as a member of Headquarter 41st Infantry Division. Upon Lieutenant Colonel Lemmas retirement from the Oregon National Guard on February 3, 1973, he had completed 28 years of service to his country. His zeal, loyalty and outstanding ability reflect great credit to the National Guard and the US. Army.
Mr. Lemma worked in the family business Joseph Lemma & Sons Beer & Wine Distributors. For 30 years he was the district manager for Almaden Vineyards overseeing six western states. He traveled to European wineries in Italy, France and Germany meeting with ngociants. He was also a consultant for Kendall Jackson Winery for 10 years. Upon his retirement, he still remained interested in the industry, reading Wine Spectator each month. John enjoyed his retirement, especially golfing with the "One OClock" buddies at Astoria Golf & Country Club.
He is survived by his wife Loretta, son Steven Lemma, son and daughter-in-law Tony and Jeanine Lemma, son Gary Grove. Brother and sister-in-law Dominic and Elto Lemma. Grandchildren Tony and Misty Lemma and Steven & Kristy Lemma.
Mr. Lemma was preceded in death by his parents Joseph & Maria, his wife Geraldine, his stepmothers Anna Matera Lemma and Maria Cipolla Lemma. Brothers Frank & Albert Lemma, sisters Alice Lemma Pingitore, Rose Lemma Camarra, Emma Lemma Palumbo-Gustafson, Amelia Lemma Reiman, Katherine Lemma Brown & Josephine Lemma Wells.
A funeral service with military honors will be held Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at the Hughes-Ransom Mortuary Astoria chapel, with reception to follow at Astoria Golf & Country Club. Interment will be at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Memorial contributions may be made to the Legacy Memorial Fund at Astoria Golf & Country Club.