Politicians, neighbors and friends pay respects to Marcia Lemmon


By Lincoln Anderson

Marcia Lemmon’s funeral last Friday was attended by a standing-room-only crowd of 100 people, including local elected officials, former Community Board 3 members, neighbors and friends.

Lemmon died Dec. 2 at 48. In the 1990s, she was one of the original bar watchdogs warning of overproliferation of liquor-licensed establishments.

Among those at Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home at 43 Second Ave. paying their respects to the former C.B. 3 member and Ludlow St. Block Association president were State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, former C.B. 3 Chairperson Susan Vaughn, former C.B. 3 District Manager Martha Danziger, former C.B. 3 member Lisa Ramaci, Carmen Barreto of Village Reform Democratic Club, Sal Bartolomeo of Rosario’s Pizza, Lower East Side documentarian Clayton Patterson, Judy Zabrowksi, Ninth St. A-1 Block Association president, Zella Jones of the Noho Neighborhood Association, Anna Sawaryn of the Coalition to Save the East Village and Al Orensanz of the Angel Orensanz Foundation.

Duane and Glick spoke and recalled Lemmon’s sense of humor as well as her work on behalf of the community. Danziger, Patterson, Jones, Zabrowski, Sawaryn and Orensanz also spoke. No family members attended. Lemmon’s friends were unable to track down any survivors.

The lack of involvement of relatives led to an unusual situation in which Lemmon’s body lay in the morgue for more than a month without a funeral being arranged. However, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver provided help. Jim Quent, an aide to Silver, said the speaker’s staff contacted the city’s Public Administrator’s Office to “explain the extraordinary circumstances of Ms. Lemmon’s situation, and as a result…Ms. Lemmon’s friends were able to have an active role in preparing for her funeral services and other funeral arrangements.”

PC, Lemmon’s cat, has reportedly found a home in the West Village. According to Patterson, it turned out that Lemmon had about half a million dollars at the time of her death. She left an account of money for PC, he said. Lemmon also left a will, according to Patterson, bequeathing money to him and Jeffrey Ruhalter, the Essex St. Market butcher — who was a big help to Lemmon — and others. However, the will was unsigned.