John Lennon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 15, 2010

John Truett Lennon, 89, of Ivor, VA and Richmond, VA died July 14, 2010. He is survived by his daughter, Celia Lennon Miller; son-in-law, James D. Miller; granddaughter, Rebecca Gray Miller, all of Richmond. He is also survived by brother and sister-in-law, Judson and Harriett Lennon of Matthews, NC; sister-in-law, Ellen H. Stephenson of Ivor and Mechanicsville, VA; sister-in-law, Noralee M. Stephenson of Richmond, VA; and numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his wife, Olivia Stephenson Lennon; a son, John Larry Lennon; and brother, Joe S. Lennon. Celebration of life services will be held Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 10:00 am at Millfield Baptist Church, 31389 Millfield Rd., Wakefield, VA [reception to follow] and July 19, 2010 at 10:00 am at Lakewood Manor, 1900 Lauderdale Drive, Richmond, VA. Born and mostly raised in rural North Carolina, John was the son of a minister/farmer and a school teacher. As a young boy, he learned the value of a strong work ethic. During his boyhood, he used mules to plow the fields, milked cows, fed the livestock, picked tobacco, cleaned barns, gathered the eggs; just whatever needed to be done. After graduating from Wake Forest College and Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, he married Olivia, and began his calling of pastoring rural church communities. Together for 43 years, they served in Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia Baptist churches. He was passionate about helping others and being involved in community activities. Ministering and witnessing to others was John’s gift. He was always willing to be bold for his faith. He truly was a “gentle man” with a servant’s heart and a silent mentor to many. Retirement led John and Olivia to Pond View, Olivia’s home place in Southampton County, Virginia. There, they spent years together restoring the farm house, enjoying the community, and becoming involved in the life of Millfield Baptist Church. They had been married at Millfield in 1947. Both dearly loved and appreciated each person in the congregation. John’s style was his own. He wore his signature felt hat for most occasions only to be replaced by his Carhartt or Millfield cap for casual activities. If you met him driving or taking a walk, that usually meant you would get a wave and a soft hello. Friendliness was high on his list of priorities. John’s love and devotion to Olivia was immeasurable. When her health waned, he remained ever-faithful to her, caring for her needs even after she was moved to a nursing home. He did all that he could to keep Olivia comfortable and most of all, to show her his love. As time came for him to also leave Pond View, John embraced his new home at Lakewood Manor in Richmond. There he found security, comfort, caring, and friendship with many residents and staff. His home was always where his heart was and his heart was at home at Lakewood Manor. Exercising in the YMCA pools at both Franklin and Richmond and participating in pilates at Lakewood Manor kept him energized. But the friends he made in the process were priceless. Second Baptist Church in Richmond became his new and final church home. Becoming part of the Booker Sunday School class was inspiring to him and he loved his new church family. John’s life was full; full of service to others; full of faith in his Lord; full of hope for his heavenly reward. He cared little for material possessions. But in eternal ones, he is richly blessed.. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run, and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV) In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Millfield Baptist Church or Lakewood Manor. The family is being served by J.T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Condolences may be posted at