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Old 03-17-2015, 01:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: 03-09-08
Location: Fairburn, Georgia
Default RIP: Master Judge Leon McLemore

Leon McLemore died today. He and his wife Joy have judged KCBS contests in the Southeast for many years. In fact at one time or another they have probably trained most of the judges in the SE. He certainly made me more aware of judging practices that either needed more attention or were not as important. He took judging very seriously and when the table was finished judging he would engage everyone in discussion of why they judged as they did and sometimes questioned their decisions. One of his pet peeves was seeing judges who failed to judge with their nose. He would tell them that the oath says "my eyes, my nose, my palate and my hands" and remind them that they needed to smell the product as well as eat it.

He was a true Southern Gentleman. He loved his wife, his children and his dog. He enjoyed playing golf and gardening as well as judging BBQ. He was active in his church and the local college football team. He raised a lot of money for the church and for football equipment for the college - all through charitable cooks. I know he and Joy would go out either before judging or after (or the Friday before) and say hello to the teams. He is going to be truly missed.

Please keep Joy and their children in your thoughts and prayers. At last year's Dillard contest Leon and I had a conversation about marriage and I believe he told me they had been married 60 years, but I could be off by 10 years or so. I just can't imagine the pain that Joy must be feeling right now. They were truly a team.

Rest in peace, Leon

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Last edited by Gadragonfly; 03-17-2015 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:31 PM   #2
somebody shut me the fark up.

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RIP, Leon.
"You have never lived until you have almost died". "For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know".-Unknown Vietnam Soldier

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Old 03-17-2015, 01:34 PM   #3
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Join Date: 08-08-07
Location: Cartersville, GA

Leon was the best of us. As with the passing of other role models like Terrell Jones and the Grogans the BBQ world is poorer for the loss. Godspeed Leon, and prayers to Miss Joy and family in this time of hardship.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:38 PM   #4
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Location: Wantagh, NY

What a shame. They look like a happy couple. My thoughts go out to her in this time of mourning.
Yeah it looks good...but how does it smell?

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Old 03-17-2015, 02:09 PM   #5
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It was a pleasure to judge and talk with Leon.

May God comfort and bless Joy in her sorrow.

Rest in peace Leon.
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:07 PM   #6
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One of the true gentlemen of barbecue. Always full of fun with a little mischief thrown in for an extra laugh. He will be missed.
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:19 PM   #7
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From Facebook (Ron Harwell):

Leon's family posted this about his funeral arrangements --- I know there are many out there who are interested in possibly attending his services:

Leon will be cremated.
There will be a service to celebrate his life at his church...Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church located at 2094 North Highway 101 Greer, SC 29651 Saturday March 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM.
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:15 PM   #8
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Leon's obituary can be found here:
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