Leo Max Lehman, 86, of Elgin, Iowa passed away Friday, April 7, 2017, at Mayo Health System, La Crosse, Wisconsin.
He was born on the family farm southeast of Elgin on June 3, 1930, to Max and Lillian (Frieburghaus) Lehman. Leo was a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church, Elgin where he was dedicated and baptized. He spent time each day reading his Bible. In his early years he taught Sunday school, and served as chairman of the finance committee, member of the advisory board and was always available to assist with various jobs around the church.
Leo attended Elgin Public High School graduating with the class of 1948.
Leo enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he trained in the Fleet Marine Force – 3rd Marine Brigade. At this time he was handpicked with 250 other men for a raiding party and trained under General Chesty Puller.
After returning home he married his high school sweetheart Karolin Falb. To this union they were blessed with four daughters, eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. He farmed with his father until January 1956 and at this time he took a course in Modern Merchandising and Management in Detroit, Michigan. Upon completion of this class he began working for his father-in-law (George Falb) at John Falb & Sons in Elgin. Later he bought into the firm and successfully operated it until 1991. Due to health problems he sold the dealership to John O. Falb, West Union, and continued to sell automobiles for the Falb dealerships until 2004.
Leo was very proud of his community and was always looking for ways to make it prosper and grow. He was president of the CEW Corporation that started Elgin’s first medical clinic. Leo along with Bill Moore initiated Elgin’s first Sweetcorn days. He was chairman of several Elgin Homecomings and helped organize the parades for many years. Lehman was a past president of the Elgin Community Club, member of Elgin Lion’s Club and Elgin American Legion Post #352. He served on the board at Northeast Iowa Community College for 16 years, the Iowa Better Buick Dealers Association board, and was a member of the Good Samaritan Advocate board, West Union for 25 years.
Leo was an avid vegetable gardener. His most enjoyable pastimes included hunting mushrooms, fishing and gathering wild grapes and elderberries for making jelly. He was a life-long Boston Red Sox and Iowa Hawkeye fan. Leo and Karolin enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 states and many foreign countries. The time he spent with his children, grandchildren and great grand-children were very special to him.
Leo is survived by his wife, Karolin, of sixty-four years; and children Kara Krohn, Johnston; Linda (Mike) Cline, Elgin; LeAnn (Gary) Larson, Clermont; and Kris (Merle) Whitcher, Waverly. Grandchildren include Marah Weigel, fiancé Mark Horton, Ryan (Jane) Cline, Cody (Stacy) Cline, Christy (Tyler) Amundson, Nick (Leah) Larson, Abbie (Brandon) Huinker, Brooke Whitcher and Kyle (Dani) Whitcher. Great grandchildren include Cash, Beckett, Jacoby, Kaden, Trevor and Bailey Cline; Ellary and Henrik Larson; Alma Huinker and Rowan Whitcher. Other survivors include two sister-in-laws Georgana Foster, Gretta Burks; a brother-in-law John P. Falb, and nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Marion Senkler and Maxine Leake; three brother-in-laws, George Senkler, William Leake and John Foster, a sister-in-law Jeanette Falb, and son-in-law Barry Krohn.
Visitation will be held Monday, April 10 from 4-7 pm at First Baptist Church in Elgin, and one hour before at the church on Tuesday.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April, 2017 at First Baptist Church, Elgin, Iowa with grandson Pastor Cody Cline officiating and Pastor Lee Boleyn assisting.
Burial with Military Rites will follow at Elgin Cemetery.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Elgin, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements.