Six foot four of funny and sweet, James Raymond LeMond passed away on September 16, 2019 at 65. He was born on March 11, 1954 to Barbara and Jerry LeMond of Austin. He was preceded in death by his father.
Jim LeMond was the first resident of Austin, according to Jim LeMond. He loved growing up here, attending Dill and Gullett Elementary Schools and Murchison Jr. High. He graduated from McCallum High School in 1974 where he made lifelong friends. He married Hollie Harris in 1986 and they had two lovely daughters, Whitney and Hayly.
Following High School, Jim began his long and storied bartending career at the Montana Mining Company on Hancock Drive, followed by stints at Steamboat Springs, Balboa Café, The Edge of Town and Lavaca Street Bar, to name a few. At 24, he opened The Cloak Room, the “neighbor bar of the Capitol”, where many a politician came to bend his ear. He loved telling stories about deal making in the smoke-filled back room during the Legislative Session. There were many stories about his favorite customer, Bob Bullock, when he was Comptroller. Jim was actually accused of phoning in bomb threats to the Capitol because whenever one was called in, the members would head straight for the bar. He sold the Cloak Room in 1977. He then became an Austin institution after serving his invention, the Mexican Martini, at The Cedar Door for the next 17 years. In 1996, he married Rebecca Garner and they had Jackson, Jim’s favorite son. They opened Barton Springs Saloon, located on the corner of Barton Springs and South Lamar in 2006. Jim’s business card explained what kind of owner/host he was – it read “Jim LeMond, Proprietor. First and Foremost Expert on Everything”. He loved telling stories and entertaining his regulars and all the new customers, as well.
His children were his greatest pride and joy and he was a really fun Dad! He ate lunch and read to their classes every Wednesday and the girls would always win the Brownie Scout award for Most Cookies Sold, as Jim would take them for Friday happy hour at Cedar Door. He adored watching Jackson’s flair for acting in many performances at Zach Scott Theater. When Jackson was studying dinosaurs in grade school, his Dad introduced him to black and white Godzilla movies!
Jim loved playing cards with his friends, good jokes, Jeopardy, Hawaiian shirts, and The Beatles. No one will forget those bright blue eyes, easy laugh, and his hilarious stories. He instantly made you feel like you could have fun at that very moment, entertaining many folks along the way. He left us too soon, but with a lot of happy memories.
He is survived by his mother, Barbara LeMond, daughter Whitney LeMond and finacee John Laird, daughter Hayly LeMond and her husband Brandon Huff, son Jackson LeMond, sister Betsy and her husband John Giles, sister Lissa and her husband Darren Whitehurst, sister Laura LeMond and her fiancée Johnny Elizondo, Uncle Tom LeMond, Jr. and wife Cornelia, Aunt Lael Segeart , nieces Jenny Giles and Julieanne Whitehurst, nephews Will Whitehurst, Walker Giles, Matt Ruka and Mike Ruka, all of Austin. His brother Bob Hicks and his wife Debbie live in San Antonio. He is also survived by numerous dear cousins.
Services will be held on Saturday, September 28 at 3:00 p.m. at Weed Corley Fish located at 3125 N Lamar Blvd., Austin, 78705. Reception to follow at Barton Springs Saloon, 424 S Lamar.
Donations may be sent to iheardyou.org.