John Richard Lehman
John R. Lehman, aged 94 years, peacefully passed away on 24 January surrounded by his loving family. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 10 August 1924, and raised in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, Dad was a student at Gettysburg College at the outbreak of World War II. Enlisting in the U.S. Army on 5 December 1942, Dad served as a combat medic and as a pharmacy technician with the 25th Infantry Division, 25th Medical Battalion, in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations and participated in the battles of Luzon and Philippine Liberation. He was discharged on 21 February 1946 at the rank of 1st Sergeant after serving in Occupied Japan until January of that year. Graduating magna cum laude from Gettysburg College in 1947 (“Go Bullets!”) and receiving in 1949 an MBA from Indiana University, Dad began his 30-year-career with City Stores, a holding concern of retail department stores. Transferred from New York City to Birmingham in 1957, Dad worked as an executive and chief financial officer at Loveman’s Department Store until his retirement in 1980. While working at Loveman’s, he met Mom [nee Josephine Elizabeth Amari], a graphic designer working in the company’s art department (which, according to Dad, had better coffee than on his floor). Married on 10 November 1967, Dad and Mom celebrated 51 years of marriage, raised two sons, and together lived life well. Since 1939, Dad loved spending summers at the family residence in Ocean City, New Jersey, where he was a member of American Legion Post 524, and enjoyed sharing the experiences with family and friends. Sharp, witty, brave, selfless, honest, and faithful to God, family, friends, and country. A generous man, friend to all, and amazing father, and a loving husband. A gentleman of the highest caliber. The day before his sudden illness, Mom told Dad, “John, I have a crush on you” and immediately, without hesitation, Dad told Mom, “I have a crush on you, too.” Speaks volumes about Dad’s character and his love for Mom – always true, always supportive, always giving. Dad’s life is an example of how best to live. He didn’t just pass through history; instead, he positively impacted the lives of everyone who were lucky enough to have known him. We wish you knew him as we knew him. You will be sorely missed, Dad. He is survived by his wife, Josie Amari; his sons John R. II, and Ryan; his grandchildren Riley and Carter; and his extended family. He is preceded by his parents John L. Lehman and Edith R. Lehman. Funeral mass will take place at 11 A.M. on Wednesday, 30 January at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 2 Xavier Circle, Mountain Brook, 35213. The family will receive friends in the church at 10:30AM.