Monday, February 8, 2010

Robert Arthur Lehman

Wellsville, NY - Robert Arthur Lehman, a resident of Wellsville Manor for the last several years, went to be with his Savior, Sunday February 7th, 2010 following a protracted illness. Mr. Lehman was born January 3rd, 1919 in Wellsville, New York to William Lehman and Hazel Halstead Lehman. At an early age, following the oil boom, he and his family moved West, to Maricopa, California where he lived until settling in Whittier, California in the early 1930s. Robert was a graduate of Whittier High School class of 1936. He enlisted in the United States Navy and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) as a boatswains mate and felt honored as being the ship's sharpshooter. He cruised the Pacific to Hawaii and South America, sailed thru the Panama Canal and was involved in pre-war maneuvers in the Caribbean and Atlantic. The Ranger docked in Brooklyn, NY where Bob was chosen to be part of the Naval Honor Guard accompanying President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the opening ceremonies of the 1939 World's Fair. Mr. Lehman was among the sailors standing on the platform, behind the President of what was the first commercial television broadcast. Robert took part in shipping loads of "lend lease" fighter aircraft to England prior to the outbreak of World War II. He was honorably discharged March, 1940.

In 1940 Mr. Lehman returned to Wellsville where he resided until the time of his death. Bob was a machinist and turbine assembler at the Worthington Corporation (Dresser Rand) until his retirement in 1981 with over 40 years of service. He was a member of The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union for 65 years and served faithfully as treasurer of Local 1580 for several years.

On May 18, 1946, Mr. Lehman and Miss Doris M. Nydegger were joined in holy matrimony by Pastor Elmer W. Krentz at The First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wellsville, NY. After many happy years, Doris died January 14, 1979. Mr. Lehman subsequently remarried. He wedded Ruth Reitz (nee Fleischmann) at Trinity Lutheran June 24th, 1981.

Mr. Lehman was an avid bowler, fisherman and gardener. He particularly enjoyed auto trips. The only state he didn't visit in his lifetime was Alaska. Bob and his first wife Doris, traveled a good deal of the United States taking automobile vacations. Bob and Ruth went on a pilgrimage to the mid-east in the 1980s where he got to ride a camel and see the Great Pyramids. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren Betsy and Zach participate in youth soccer and Little League baseball as well as being a loyal NY Yankees fan. He was an usher, member of the Board of Elders at First Trinity as well as being in the Men's Fellowship and Couples Club there. Bob along with both wives was active in card clubs and had many friends.

Mr. Lehman was predeceased by Doris, Ruth, a brother Julius, a sister Edith Brossia, both of California and his grandson Zachary T. Allen. He is survived by a devoted daughter, Kay (Thomas) Allen, his loving granddaughter Elizabeth (Jermaine) Allen-Matthew of Alaska. In addition he is survived by a brother, Albert (Dottie) Lehman of Texas, two sisters, Hazel (Larry) Shesgreen and Wilma (James) Coleman both of California, stepchildren Donna (Bruce) DeForest of Delaware, Karl (Sherry) Reitz of New Hampshire and Norman (Julie) Reitz of Rochester. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews, step grandchildren and step great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of J.W. Embser Sons. Visitation will be Wednesday, February 10, from one until two PM at First Trinitry Ev. Lutheran Church, 470 North Main Street, Wellsville. A memorial service will follow at 2PM. The family invites everyone to stay for light refreshments. Burial will follow in Woodlawn with Military Honors. Memorials may be made in Mr. Lehman's memory to the charity of the donor's choice.

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