Obituary: David L. Lemon, 70, former colonel and corporate executive

David L. Lemon, shown with his wife, Maria Laura, was an Army colonel and later an executive.
David L. Lemon, shown with his wife, Maria Laura, was an Army colonel and later an executive. (Family Photo)
By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 18, 2010; 9:28 PM

David L. Lemon, 70, an Army colonel who served as a defense attache in Baghdad and Cairo and in retirement worked in the Middle East and North Africa as a marketing and sales executive with ITT and Motorola, died Oct. 16 at a nursing home in Miami. He had Parkinson's disease.

Col. Lemon, who served two tours in the Vietnam War, did extensive language training in the military and became fluent in Hindi, Urdu and Arabic.

After a stint with the Defense Intelligence Agency, he served as defense attache in Baghdad from 1987 to 1988, a period when the United States had cordial military relations with Iraq. He was then defense attache in Cairo until 1991. He retired from active duty the next year.

In the mid-1990s, Col. Lemon was based in Fort Wayne, Ind., as international marketing manager for ITT's aerospace and communications division.

In 1997, he joined Motorola, working in the United Arab Emirates. He later spent several years as country manager for the company in Egypt before retiring in 2005.

David Lee Lemon was born March 29, 1940, in Enid, Okla., and raised in Abilene, Tex. He was a 1962 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he also received a master's degree in politics and economics in 1970. As an undergraduate, he won honors as a distinguished military student in the ROTC program.

He did graduate work in engineering at Rice University in Houston and attended the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pa., and what is now the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk.

From 1980 to 1983, he commanded a military police battalion at Fort Meade. Earlier, he had been assistant Army attache in New Delhi.

His hobbies included golf and sailing.

His first marriage, to Billye Adams, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife, the former Maria Laura Aragon, of Miami, whom he married in 1988; two daughters from his first marriage, Dr. Katherine Lemon of Needham, Mass., and Jennifer Renee of Palmer, Alaska; a son from his second marriage, David R.A. Lemon of Austin; two sisters; and five grandchildren.

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