Amherst Magazine

John E. Lehman '38

Deceased April 9, 2009
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John E. Lehman

Cheerful and fun-loving, John E. Lehman, my dad, will be missed by many, not least, I am sure, by the charitable, educational and community organizations, including Amherst College, whom he served throughout his life.

John was born in South Orange, N.J., on Christmas Day 1917, and by the age of 20, he was already an Amherst graduate. He married Peggy Scholer (Smith ’41) soon after her graduation. During WWII, he served in Labrador in the U.S. Army Air Corps and afterwards settled in Maplewood, N.J. He had a long career with William E. Lehman Architect in Newark and Livingston.

John rarely missed college Reunions and “Eastern Establishment” gatherings in New Jersey and Connecticut. He served as Class agent and was Class president in 1993-98 and Reunion chair in 1978-83.

He gave to his community in many ways and was honored with Maplewood’s Citizen of the Year award. After he and Peggy moved to New York City in 1967, he established the People’s Environmental Program (PEP) under the 59th Street Bridge. After retirement, he volunteered to mentor public school children.

John’s love of sport (he lettered in squash at Amherst) inspired many three-generation family gatherings for skiing at Stowe, Vt., and thousands of hours of tennis, golf, touch football, ping pong, pool, baseball and frisbee games. He was the family’s poet laureate, chronicling our lives with humor and love. He even did his 50th Reunion memoir entirely in verse. 
        
An Alzheimer’s victim, John died peacefully at home in New York City on April 9, 2009, at age 91.

Besides Peggy and me, he is survived by son Doug and grandchildren Geoffrey, Julie, Dana and Michael.

We will always remember his ebullient spirit, his sense of humor, his thoughtful nature and his warm and loving heart.

John E. Lehman Jr. ’68


 

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