Ms. Rebekah Alaine Lemley, age 35, of Springfield passed away Sunday May 5, 2019 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Visitation was held Thursday, May 9, 2019 at Springfield Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home from 2 to 8 p.m. and again on Friday, May 10, 2019 at Springfield First United Methodist Church from 11 a.m. until the time of service at 2 p.m. with Bro. Doug Hendrixson and Bro. Ernie Arnold officiating. Interment followed in Springfield Memorial Gardens with the Chattanooga Fire Department serving as pallbearers and Vanderbilt Life Flight providing escort.
Ms. Lemley was born Dec. 12, 1983 to Jimmy and Mary Lee Lemley.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents Vera and Herschel Lemley and Harold “Denny” Summers, all of Springfield.
Ms. Lemley was a Registered Nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center serving as the Burn Program Manager. In this role she improved patient care by managing quality data and providing outreach education to hospital and prehospital personnel in Tennessee and Kentucky. Over the course of her career she educated thousands of utility and health care workers about the care and effects of burns, pediatric burn considerations, and safety prevention techniques. In 2016 she was awarded Nurse of the Year for Quality and Risk Management by the March of Dimes and the Reader’s Choice Awards Best Nurse by the Robertson County Times.
Rebekah was a dedicated member of the Springfield First Church of the Nazarene, teaching Sunday School for 15 years, and serving on the church board. She was also an active runner that completed numerous races at Walt Disney World with her mother. Twice she completed the 4-day “Dopey” challenge, comprised of a 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon.
Rebekah was called to serve others which she did through memberships in local community organizations. She was a 4-H Volunteer leader for 17 years after being an active club member for nine years. She coached state winning Diary Products Judging teams, chaperoned educational programs and trips, and supported the annual 4-H Congress Pageant. Rebekah was a volunteer at the Robertson County Fair for 21 years, serving as a department superintendent for Photography and the Pet Show. She was the President of the Cross Plains FCE club and was also elected as the Secretary of the county-wide Family and Consumer Education clubs. The Tennessee 4-H program recognized the Lemley Family in 2004 as the Hale Master Family. In 2010 she was awarded 4-H Volunteer Leader of the Year and in 2018 was selected as 4-H Alumni of the Year.
For the last 19 years, she has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She participated in 23 Girls State programs as a counselor or nurse for the Tennessee, Virginia, and South Carolina Departments. Through these programs, Rebekah empowered young women to participate in governmental processes and become leaders. At home, Rebekah served as the voting precinct officer for East Robertson 1-1.
Rebekah traced her family history in Robertson County back almost 200 years; it was through her ancestors’ service to their country that she was able to join several lineage-based organizations. She was a proud member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, and National Society United States Daughters of 1812. In 2018 Rebekah was named as the Tennessee Society Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Junior. She was also serving as Regent of the Charlotte Reeves Robertson DAR chapter in Springfield. Rebekah held numerous state offices and state and national chairmanships in these organizations. With each assignment, she called upon her strong faith to promote “God, Home, and Country.”
With all of her service, one program stood out amongst the others. For 11 years, Rebekah served as the director for Camp Hope, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s camp that supports pediatric burn survivors ages 6-16. Over the years, she fostered the program and was able to double camp attendance. Through community partnerships, she has been able to fully fund each camp experience so that children can attend the event free of charge. During the week, the program worked to develop life skills, encourage healthy living, and promote a positive self-image. She once wrote, “I am a firm believer that your presence will make a child’s experience memorable, but your influence will impact their lives.”
Rebekah was a devoted sister, daughter, aunt and friend. She would often refer to people as “friend.” She enjoyed sewing, crafting, reading historical novels, and organizing events. Her kind spirit and servant’s heart made her an important part of the community. Rebekah’s greatest joy was her two nephews Wesley and Owen and her friend Jessa. She would say, they were the best thing that has ever happened to her family.
She is survived by her parents of Springfield; two sisters Marissa (Adam) Brown and Abigail (TJ) Tewmey; her nephews Wesley and Owen Brown; and grandmother Nereida Summers.
The family requests memorial contributions be made in care of Springfield Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home to Camp Hope or the Tennessee 4-H Foundation.
These arrangements were entrusted to Springfield Memorial Gardens, Funeral Home and Cremation Center 4005 Memorial Blvd Springfield, TN 37172: 615-384-5437