Neil Lemon

Neil Lemon (August 7, 2011)

Neil Francis Lemon, a co-founder and executive vice president of the Waterford Group that developed and managed affordable housing for senior citizens, died July 23 of cancer at his Riderwood home.

He died a day before his 75th birthday, family members said.

Mr. Lemon, the son of Irish immigrant parents who were a gardener and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Waverly. He was a 1953 graduate of Polytechnic Institute.

After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving as a cook until being discharged in 1961 with the rank of sergeant.

Mr. Lemon had worked in the construction business his entire life, only stopping three weeks before his death.

He had worked early in his career as a member of a surveying crew for Rummel, Klepper and Kahl, a Baltimore engineering firm, and the old Henry, Shraeder, Taylor & White, a general contracting firm.

He later worked for Kirby McGuire Construction Co., now Roy Kirby & Sons Co., and John McShane Construction Co. during the 1960s. In the early 1970s, he worked for Ames Ennis Corp. and the Urban C. Development Construction Corp.

In 1976, Mr. Lemon and his partner, Jim Ginsburg, established the Waterford Group, whose purpose was developing and managing affordable senior housing in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area.

Some projects the partners brought to fruition included Canton Square, Fairbrooke Senior Apartments in Harford County, Fairspring Senior Apartments in Baltimore County, and Fairgreen Senior Apartments in Perryville.

"Neil's expertise was in every phase of construction including design, engineering and construction," said Mr. Ginsburg, who added that more than 6,000 units of housing had been built since the company's inception.

Mr. Ginsburg said his "honesty and great integrity in the business world was beyond question."

"Even in the rough-and-tumble construction business, Neil was always focused on the needs of those to be served by his work," said Mr. Ginsburg.

He volunteered at Our Daily Bread and was a member for 50 years of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.

He enjoyed spending times at a second home in Ocean Pines and fishing. He was also an accomplished watercolorist and liked reading about history.

Mr. Lemon was a communicant of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered July 28.

Surviving are his wife of 28 years, the former Nancy Greensfelder; five sons, Thomas Lemon of Timonium, Michael Lemon of Riderwood, Ryan Lemon of Charles Village, Stefan Lemon of Shrewsbury, Pa., and John Lemon of Ocean Pines; a daughter, Cara Lemon of Riderwood; a sister, Mary Park of Delaware; and nine grandchildren. An earlier marriage to the former Selma T. Rutkowski ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com