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Super Senior: Marlene 'Granny' Lemnah - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Marlene 'Granny' Lemnah

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SWANTON, Vt. -

Every morning at the Mary S. Babcock School in Swanton, the gym comes alive.

"Now we're going to start jogging, go!" gym teacher Corey Juckett yelled. "Looking for your friends, freeze!"

The kids don't have to look too far for their friend; Granny's in the kitchen.

"One, two, three, bye, Granny!" the children called.

Granny is Marlene Lemnah, 83, the loving lunch lady.

Reporter Joe Carroll: So, Granny is like the calm before the storm here?

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: Yeah, it is because the cherubs will be coming in shortly... Here's J.J. now, he's priceless.

J.J. Richard, 7, is one of Granny's angels. She loves all the kids but she has a special bond with the ones with life challenges.

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: He works.

Joe Carroll: He works!

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: Absolutely.

"J.J., bring out the garbage can," Granny said.

The kitchen staff has only minutes to get ready before the kindergarteners, first- and second-graders come in hungry.

Joe Carroll: Some of these kids, it's their main meal of the day.

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: Yeah, it is.

Granny also gives out a heaping helping of hugs.

"Oh, I suppose you want a hug, too," Granny said to gym teacher Corey Juckett. "You're not getting one from me!"

Corey and Granny like to bicker.

"All you do is come in here and eat all our cheese sticks, that's all you do," Granny said.

Joe Carroll: You and Corey, you two go at it!

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: Yeah, we do. And I love every minute of it and so does he!

Despite the ribbing, Corey respects Granny. He was the one who nominated her to be a Super Senior.

"She comes in, everyone she talks to she puts a smile on their face. People come in to give her a hug, just to have a little Granny time," Corey said.

Joe Carroll: Was your life a little different at this age?

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: Yes, very much so. And that perhaps the way I am today.

Young Marlene had an unhappy and lonely childhood, living mostly in Burlington. She believes her father was from Lebanon. Much of that time is murky.

Joe Carroll: Is it hard remembering all these things because you don't want to remember?

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: Could well be. I'm sure I've blocked out all that I remember.

She lived with a family friend. When Marlene was about 10, the woman shipped her off to Pennsylvania to take care of her daughter. Eventually, Marlene made it back to Vermont.

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: There was nothing warm and fuzzy about it... no. I like warm and fuzzy.

Joe Carroll: I see that. Do you think you're doing that now because you didn't have it as a kid?

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: Yes, I do.

Granny does the job for free; her reward is the kids' smiles.

Marlene "Granny" Lemnah: What is there about me you like that I give you once in a while?

Samantha Daley: Cookies!

"I got the best of two worlds, I love food and I'm with the kids," Granny said. "I'm blessed."

So are the kids.

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