Dick Harold Lehman, age 85, of Rushville, Neb., passed away on Monday, April 24, 2017, at Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs, Neb.
Dick was born in Rushville, Neb., on Aug. 13, 1931, to Nicholas and Lillian (Nydahl) Lehman. He was raised 16 miles northwest of Rushville along with 2 sisters and 1 brother. Dick grew up working on the family farm where they raised wheat, corn, alfalfa, pigs, and cattle. He walked a half mile to District 34 county school and then attended Rushville High School. While in high school, Dick met the beautiful Edith (Reeves) Lehman and on June 12th, 1951, the two were married. They made their home on the family farm sixteen miles north of Rushville. To this union four sons and a daughter were born: Richard Allen in 1953, David Mark in 1954, Donald James in 1955, Karen Marie in 1961, and Robert Harold in 1962. The kids grew up hunting, fishing, and swimming in the creek near their house. Dick also taught them many skills including mechanical and agricultural work.
He tended a large garden that supplied neighbors, friends and family; his pumpkins were coveted by his grandchildren (who often fought over who would get the biggest one). Working on the farm always reminded Dick of Charlie Pride’s song, ‘Just for the Love of It.’ Dick’s mentality was that although he might end up with weathered fields of grain, he would never curse the sun or give up on the rain. He farmed and ranched not for the money, but for the love of it.
Dick was a member of the Rural Fire Department and would lend a helping hand by operating the rural fire jeep. (It even came in handy one 4th of July when his kids and grandkids started the hillside on fire with fireworks). He spent the last 8 years of his life at Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs and built many lasting friendships. He made sure to tease his nurses just as they did in return. He supplied his caregivers with candy in a bucket for the taking. In 2011, Dick was baptized and joined the Catholic faith knowing that this would make Edith very proud.
Dick will forever be remembered as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. His working hands were rough, but his heart was kind and gentle. He took pride in the land he spent his entire life farming and ranching and always welcomed family, neighbors, and hunters with a great deal of hospitality. He very rarely took a moment to rest and you would typically find him out in the fields or fixing farm machinery in his shop. He was an amazing role model for his grandchildren and great grandchildren and brought a smile to all who met him.
Survivors include his daughter Karen (Stuart) Kozal of Rushville, Neb., three sons: David (Marsha) Lehman of Rushville, Neb., Bobby (Deanna) Lehman of Gordon, Neb., and Donnie (Kris) Lehman of Ft. Morgan, Colo. His grandchildren, Misty (Will) Davis, Amanda Kozal, Brooke (Jason) Schwarting, Ashley (Chet) Younkin, Traci (Ed) Hill, Beau Lehman, Bridget Lehman, Sabrina Lehman and Amy Lehman; 23 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, his beloved and devoted wife Edith Lehman, his son Rick Lehman, brother Bill Lehman, sisters Eleanor McCloud and Lucille Michaelson.
Vigil service, April 26, 2017, at 7 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church in Rushville, Neb.
Mass of Christian Burial, Thursday, April 27, 2017, 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, Rushville, Neb. Burial will be held in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Rushville, Neb.
Pallbearers: Will Davis, Brock Davis, Ryan Kozal, Beau Lehman, Jason Schwarting, and Chet Younkin. Honorary Pallbearers: Family, Friends and Neighbors.
A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of, Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, P.O. Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.