Frederick John (Fred) Lehman, 101


Frederick John (Fred) Lehman, 101, of Mount Vernon, Iowa, died peacefully at home on Monday, May 27, 2024, surrounded by his family.

Visitation was held at Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorials Service in Mount Vernon on Friday, May 31, 2024. A funeral service was held Saturday, June 1, 2024 at the United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon. A private burial will be held later at the Mount Vernon Memorial Cemetery.

Please contribute to Fred’s Tribute Wall and share your love and memories with his family at under Obituaries.

Fred was born Jan. 26, 1923, in a log cabin in Owen, Wisconsin, to Pierrie Carder Lehman and Bessie Mae (Passmore) Lehman. When Fred was four years old, the family moved to the area around West Liberty. He spent his early years there, graduating from West Liberty High School in 1939, at 16 years of age. He worked in farming until he entered the United Stated Marine Corps in WWII where he trained with the combat engineers. While stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Station he met the love of his life, Marion Radke, of Riverside, Illinois, at the USO in Chicago. They were married February 1, 1947. They farmed in the West Liberty area where they raised four daughters, Connie, Jean, Lori, and Ann. 

Fred was active in the Muscatine County Farm Bureau, The West Liberty School Board of Education and the West Liberty Fair Board of Directors and served as president of each of these organizations.

In 1955, Fred was named Outstanding Young Farmer in Muscatine County in a program sponsored by the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce.

When Fred was 40 the couple reduced the farming operation and Fred started a 26- year career with Walnut Grove Products, a producer of Livestock Feeds. He worked first as a salesman, earning a position in the top 30 salesmen in the company, was promoted to division manager and moved the family to Mount Vernon in 1965. He was then promoted to regional manager for over one third of Iowa, Western Illinois, and Northern Missouri. Those who knew him can imagine how good he was at his job. He remembered the names of customers from all over and could even remember what jokes they liked!   He retired from Walnut Grove Products, a Division of W.R. Grace Company, on February 25, 1989. In 2004 the Lehmans sold their farm and moved into a condo in Mount Vernon where they lived out their remaining years.

Upon moving to Mount Vernon Fred continued his participation in the Lions Club (with 71 years of continuous membership and was the longest serving member in this district). He loved calling Bingo in the Lion’s tent at Heritage Days and was famous for opening each meeting with a joke.  

Fred was also a member of the Hahn Howard Post 480 of the American Legion (75 years continuous membership) serving as Commander for 11 years. He acted as emcee for many years for the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day services and has marched in parades and conducted many military services honoring deceased veterans of all wars. For several years he and Marion also joined other Veterans to speak to the MVHS History classes. We are certain that he held out until just after midnight Sunday night so that he could pass on Memorial Day.

He truly enjoyed the spring, when everything came to life on the farm, and harvest when he could celebrate the fruits of his labor. Throughout his life he cultivated not only crops, but also enduring relationships with those around him. Family and friends often sought his kind advice, as well as a helping hand. His work ethic, integrity, generosity, and most of all sense of humor, were the qualities that defined him. He loved spending time with friends and family, fishing, reading, golfing, playing cards, and tinkering in his shop. He and Marion enjoyed dancing and were members of two card club groups in West Liberty for more than 40 years. He was exceedingly proud of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, attending every event whenever possible, whether it be sports, music, or theater, and every graduation from high school, college or graduate school whenever possible.

Fred and Marion were members of the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church and, on behalf of the church, spent many years visiting new families to welcome them to the community.  So many people have said that they remember fondly that the Lehmans were the very first people that they met when they moved to town.

In his retirement years he especially enjoyed meeting the boys for coffee in the basement of Bauman’s clothing store, where they shared stories and solved the world’s problems.

Fred’s passing leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew him. He is survived by a brother, Bob Lehman (Wanita) of West Liberty; four daughters, Connie Clancey of Marion, Jean Lehman of Mount Vernon, Lori Reihle of Marion and Ann Currie (Jay) of Mount Vernon; six beloved grandchildren, Jennifer Clancey, Andrew Eisner (Jasmine), Abbie (Reihle) Hames (Curtis), Kristen (Reihle) Kimball (Derek), Kit Currie, and Lexi (Formerly Clint) Currie (Jason Bladow). He has seven adorable great grandchildren (and one on the way!), as well as cousins, nieces, and nephews across the country.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marion (Radke) Lehman; sister, Wilma (Carl) Ogren; brother, Walt (Shirley) Lehman; and son-in-law, Marty Clancey.

Words alone cannot express how grateful both friends and family are for his daughter Jean, who left her home and friends in New Mexico, and moved home to stay with Fred and Marion in 2017. The love and devotion that she showed them went above and beyond anything we could have asked for.

The family would especially like to thank UnityPoint St. Luke’s Hospice for their kindness, support, and the love that they showed to Fred.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Mount Vernon Lion’s Club, Hahn Howard Post 480 American Legion or the United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, Iowa.