Gwendolyn Marie Lemon-Jones

February 1, 1957 – July 20, 2021

“A people person,” is how Timika Scott describes her mother Gwendolyn Lemon-Jones. Gwendolyn was always kind and able to help anybody. You couldn’t leave an encounter with her without feeling instantly better, and you would never be able to forget meeting her once you did.

Although Timika was an only child, she never felt like one. Her mother was famous for “adopting” people. Gwendolyn had so many honorary children that there was no shortage of “siblings” for her daughter to turn to and, with how incredibly involved Gwendolyn was in society, there was no shortage of places that Timika’s adopted “siblings” came from.

Gwendolyn Lemon-Jones

Gwendolyn Lemon-Jones

Gwendolyn worked as a lab technician at a local laboratory, now named Pace Analytical Laboratory, where they often hired players from the LSU football team. Timika recalled how those players became her family. Her mother would see those same players around town, including outside of the Juvenile Detention Center where Gwendolyn also worked. Each time she saw them she would check up on them, listen to their updates on life, and encourage them to stay out of trouble. Gwendolyn wasn’t just a friend to everyone, but a mother to everyone. She always wanted everyone she encountered to be safe and live happy lives. She had the ability to create deep connections with people that made them all feel like family.

The idea of family was one familiar to Gwendolyn already. She grew up in Baton Rouge, in a neighborhood which she described as one similar to a village. Everyone knew everyone and, though separated by houses, they were all a part of one big family. Generations went in and out of the neighborhood, but the family always remained, ready to welcome each one. Within her own household, Gwendolyn’s family included her and her four siblings. Although she was the oldest of her three biological sisters, she also had an adopted older brother. Just as she went on to provide for her daughter, Gwendolyn always had someone to turn to.

When Gwendolyn gave birth to Timika, that network of family she had continued to grow. Timika then had three children of her own, two boys and a girl. Gwendolyn loved spending time
with her grandchildren, and there was no shortage of activities they could do together. One of her favorite activities to do with all three of her grandchildren was to go fishing. Gwendolyn and her granddaughter also enjoyed thrift shopping together. Gwendolyn had also started to take up gardening. The activity that held a special place in Gwendolyn’s heart was baking. Before she became a lab technician, Gwendolyn worked as a cook. Her favorite thing to make was homemade bundt cakes. When Timika was growing up, she recalled that she would often do the cooking and her mom would do the baking. They split the tasks so that they could always enjoy both dinner and dessert!

Gwendolyn also loved to travel. The last place she ever wanted to go was Jamaica and, although she never got the chance, Timika hopes to complete the trip for the both of them. Gwendolyn Lemon-Jones was a kind person with a beautiful soul. She was a mother at heart; not just to those related to her by blood, but to everyone she met. She had the unique ability to touch the souls of those she only knew for a short time, and leave a piece of herself in all of their hearts.

Author: Emma Evans


  • Interview with Timika Scott, Gwendolyn’s daughter, on October 25, 2023