Community mourns Ted Lemon’s passing

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Community mourns Ted Lemon’s passingA man remembered by his loved ones for his generous heart, passion for music and love of community passed away Aug. 28, 2019. He was 58.

“My dad had an unparalleled sense of kindness,” said his son, 30-year-old Adrian. “I have not met a single person who didn’t like him.”

“He took such care of his family,” said Resa, his 28-year-old daughter. “But, really, he took care of everyone he loved.”

“When I think of my dad, I think of his love for the community and his love of music,” said 24-year-old Kristen, his youngest.

These sentiments are echoed in virtually every sphere of influence in the community, as his countless friends join his family in comforting one another in shared grief.

Many of those knew Ted as the proprietor of the popular “Sound Waves! Mobile DJ Services” — which played a pivotal role in literally thousands of wedding receptions, fund-raisers, Christmas parties and other community celebrations.

“I have been helping my dad set up for as long as I can remember,” said Adrien. “But I was 10 years old when I first got to help him spin.”

It was a Halloween party in 1999, and Adrian got to help select the music for the occasion. “My dad taught me the ropes about how to work a dance floor.”

Not too many years later, Adrien started DJ PANiiQ. “We definitely shared a passion for music,” he said. “He taught me so much, and helped me get into so many venues — maybe even places I was too young to play.”

Adrian had some overlapping tastes with his dad, but developed his on style. “Later, I ended up teaching him how to beat-match, and turned him onto hip-hop.”

However, “if I had to pick an artist he loved most, it would have been Jimmy Buffet. He was a huge Parrot Head.” Adrian recalled that one of his favorite memories was the Buffet concert they attended together.

“But probably the memory that will stick with me the most is the first time he hugged my son, Theo,” he said.

“Everybody has an enemy somewhere, but I really don’t think my dad did. If there was every a problem with someone, he worked it out, and they became good friends.”

“He had a smile that would light up a room,” remembered Resa. “He was so special. And I want people to know how much he loved our community — how much everybody meant to him.

“Honestly, his love of community has impacted mine. I can remember, from the time we were little, how everyone stopped him in the grocery store to talk to him. Looking back I realize how many people’s lives he touched. It’s really awe-inspiring. I feel lucky to be a part of that.”

Ted was in an accident many years ago that triggered numerous health problems, including the ultimate loss of his leg.

“He never let his illness slow him down, though,” said Resa. “His signature quote was ‘The show must go on!’”

Ted shared his talents as a DJ freely, performing the job he loved for free to countless audiences.

“There was even a point where I was a little mad at him,” recalled Kristen. “I said, ‘Why are you doing all these gigs for free, Dad? Come on!’ He just said, you know, in this community we are all like family.”

Ted’s health took another turn for the worse last year. A group of friends, in his name, launched a gofundme campaign that raised more than $20,000 to fix up his home and help him get the medical support he needed.

“I remember my dad used to reassure me that everything comes back around,” said Kristen. “He was right. The community really did pay him back.

But for Kristen and the other children, their dad wasn’t just the community fixture, but a person dedicated to sharing moments with his family — road trips, long conversations, endless music.

“I think what I’m going to miss most were the one-on-one times we got to spend,” said Kristen. “I remember when I was little I was always the first one up in the house. We would go to McDonald’s and have breakfast together. Then we would get more food for everyone home and eat breakfast a second time.”

“Over the years, I was blessed to serve many of the same events with Ted,” said Bill Farris, who catered alongside Soundwaves! for decades. “He was always gracious, accommodating, generous and unassuming — a standout and a bright spot in the fabric of our Ridgecrest community.”

A viewing will be held Friday, Sept. 13, from 5-8 p.m. at H.K. Holland Memorial Chapel. His services will be on Saturday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m., at Crossroads Community Church, with Pastor Bill Corley officiating.

Interment will follow at Desert Memorial Park.

A full obituary will be published in a future edition of the News Review.

I cannot imagine how many people, like me and my husband, shared the most special day of their lives with Ted Lemon. Ted played an important role in our wedding 20 years ago. Without being asked or prompted, he wielded his razor-sharp perception to weave a musical, fun-filled atmosphere to mark our milestone. Over the course of hundreds of events I saw that Ted had an almost supernatural ability to create the right atmosphere, tailored for whatever audience he was playing to. His dedication to our community has few peers. My sorrow over his loss is eclipsed only by the joy of having known him. — Ed.

Pictured: Ted Lemon pictured with his children (back from left) Resa, Adrian and Kristen. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2019-09-06