With great sadness, our friend and colleague Joe Lemmond passed away earlier this week. Joe was a wonderful advocate for MHANYS serving both on the board and as a volunteer. Joe was one of best people I ever met—almost completely devoid of cynicism and hatred toward others. He always looked at things from a positive lens. He had many tough challenges in his life but he always overcame them through his resiliency, intelligence and perseverance.
He was such a committed person that by himself he created the Candidate’s Night in the Capital Region, bringing together over twenty five elected officials and candidates for office, all of them talking about mental health to peers, family members and providers. Talk about powerful. But as his obituary states, he did much more than that. He was such a positive force for change. His great intellect and compassion towards others helped garner respect and real change in our community.
On a personal level, he was such a caring man who always was so thoughtful about those around him. Many of our staff and board regarded him like family because that’s the way he treated all of us. His loss as a friend and colleague is immeasurable. He leaves us all too soon but his great legacy will be with us for years to come.
Rest in Peace our good friend, Joe Lemmond
Lemmond, Joseph Vann Jr. ALBANY Joseph Vann Lemmond, Jr., of Albany, died unexpectedly at Albany Medical Center on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Joseph was born in Lynnfield, Mass., in 1954 but he grew up in Niskayuna. He graduated from Niskayuna High School in 1972. He attended Alleghany College and earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY in Albany. Joseph was a big man with a big, golden heart. Though he carried burdens in his life that very few understand or imagine, Joseph strived for 50 years to improve himself and to assist others. Joe’s professional career was spent advocating for and helping others. Beginning in 1990, Joe worked as a consumer-housing advocate, where he worked helping people in the mental-health system find affordable housing. He worked on the Bus Buddy program, where he provided direct assistance to people who needed help with the Albany bus system. After Joe quit smoking, he started and led smoking cessation seminars for others. For years, he managed a program that provided free bicycles to those who needed them. In 2014, Joe was the Mental Health New York State (MHANYS) Volunteer of the Year. Joe was an active member of the Board of Directors of the Mental Health in New York State (MHANYS), where he worked for many years and developed cherished relationships with his colleagues. Together with Rehabilitation Support Services (RSS), the Association for Community Living (ACL), and MHANYS, Joseph conceived of and managed “Candidate’s Night,” where local political candidates would speak and answer questions on a wide variety of issues relating to the mental health community. Joe was also an important part of MHANY’s Voter Empowerment Project, which seeks to empower members of the mental health community to understand their voting rights. Joe would want everyone to vote on Tuesday, November 3. If he could, he would help everyone do so. For Joe, it was never enough to overcome an obstacle or burden for himself; what mattered was helping others do the same. Joe never gave up. Joe was a voracious reader, lifelong learner, and an avid book collector. He enjoyed good food, studied politics, and happily followed the Boston Celtics. No one enjoyed the Christmas holidays with his family more than Joe; he began his Christmas shopping in July. Above all, Joe loved his family and they him. He was predeceased by his loving and caring parents, Ann C. Lemmond and Joseph V. Lemmond. He leaves behind his brothers, David B. Lemmond (Shelley) of Maryland, Peter C. Lemmond of Moultonborough, N.H., and Robert M. Lemmond (Karen) of Marblehead, Mass. He will be missed by his nieces and nephews: Sara Lemmond, Jonathan Lemmond (Adrienne), their daughter Josephine, and Nicolas B. Lemmond. Big, golden hearts are rare and special things. Joseph will be missed by many. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, October 30, at 9 a.m. in the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish Church on 1803 Union Street in Niskayuna. Burial will follow the service in the Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery. A celebration of Joe’s life, with his family and friends, will be held in Albany at a later date and once concerns of COVID-19 have subsided. Donations in Joe’s memory may be made to Rehabilitation Support Service, Inc., 5172 Western Turnpike, Altamont, NY 12009. For directions and online condolences, please visit www.jonesfh.net