In Memoriam: Jack Lemley


Jack Kenneth Lemley, a longtime project manager most noted for his work on the Channel Tunnel project linking France and England, has passed away. Born in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho on Jan. 2, 1935, Lemley died on Nov. 29, 2021, from natural causes. He was 86.

After graduating from the University of Idaho in 1960, Lemley embarked on a 50-plus year career in the construction industry on projects throughout the world. Lemley started his career at the Guy F. Atkinson Co. and worked on projects including the construction of I-5 through downtown Seattle and supervising the building of 25 miles of water tunnels underneath New York City in the 1970s.

In 1978, Lemley joined Morrison Knudsen Co. and was put in charge of construction of King Khalid Military City in Saudi Arabia. Throughout the 1980s, Lemley supervised projects all around the world for Morrison Knudsen.

In spring 1989, Lemley became the Chairman of Transmanch-Link “TML” a joint venture of 5 British and French construction companies that built the Channel Tunnel, linking Britain and France under the English Channel. The tunnel was put into operation in 1994. In recognition of his service Queen Elizabeth awarded him the Order of the British Empire “OBE” in 1996.

Upon completion of the “Chunnel,” Lemley returned to Idaho to found Lemley International Inc., a global management and consulting firm. Lemley International’s projects included FERMI National Laboratory, Holland Tunnel renovation, London Underground LTD, Athens Greece Metro, Hong Kong Airport, and the renovation of the Idaho State Capitol Building.

In 2005, Lemley assumed the authority for delivering all the infrastructure for the London Olympics 2012 but due to concerns over scheduling issues he left the project in 2006. He returned to Lemley International and ultimately retired in 2012.

Jack is survived by his wife of 35 years Pamela Lemley and his extended family, including children Jim Lemley, Tara Lemley, John Lemley, Kristin Thomas and Jill Simplot, his sister Grace Hege and his granddaughters Juliette Lemley, Lola Thomas, Rose Thomas and Riley Simplot. Jack loved the outdoors, the mountains, white water rafting, sailing, skiing, and was an avid bike rider. Upon his retirement Jack spent his time between Boise and Ketchum.

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