James Lehman, 75James E. Lehman, 75, died Thursday, October 29, 2009 at St. Mary’s Hospital (Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, as a result of complications related to surgery.
James E. Lehman, 75, died Thursday, October 29, 2009 at St. Mary’s Hospital (Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, as a result of complications related to surgery.
James was born July 26, 1934 in Breckenridge to Edward and Irene (Korbel) Lehman. He grew up in Brushvale and attended high school in Breckenridge. Following high school, Jim enrolled at St. John’s University where he played basketball, baseball, football and ran track. He eventually settled on playing football, where he was named the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Most Valuable Player in 1955. He also led the nation in scoring and was named All-American in 1955. Jim graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in history.
Jim served in the United States Navy from 1956-58 and returned home on leave to marry Barbara Lytle from Mason City, Iowa, on December 15, 1956.
Upon his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, Jim signed a bonus contract with the Baltimore Colts and was under contract for two years before moving to Austin, Minnesota, where he taught history and coached football and basketball at Austin Pacelli High School. He then coached and taught one year at Benilde High School in Minneapolis before taking a sales position with Intercollegiate Press in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In June of 1969, Jim moved his family to Alexandria, where he owned and operated his own insurance agency for nearly 25 years.
Jim was a kind, compassionate and humble man who had an uncanny ability to relate with people from all walks of life. He was passionate about his family and all that they were involved with. He was an outdoorsman and loved hunting, fishing, biking and golfing, especially with his family. Watching his sons play sports, golf in particular, was a real source of pride and satisfaction for him. He was a board member of the Alexandria Golf Club, a member of the Alexandria Rotary Club, and active at St. Mary’s Church in Alexandria. He enjoyed reading and conversing with friends about all types of topics, especially sports, politics and history.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Lehman of Alexandria; sons, James (Maureen) Lehman of Plymouth, Thomas (Melissa) Lehman of Scottsdale, AZ, and Michael (Shanna) Lehman of Scottsdale, AZ. Also surviving are grandchildren, Cate, Sarah, Connor, Rachael, Holly, Thomas, Sean, Lexi, Jackson and Kira Lehman; as well as his sister, Dolores (Roger) Nierengarten of St. Cloud.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; and grandson, Samuel.
Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, November 6 with the Rev. Steven Binsfeld officiating.
The family requests memorials to the Jim Lehman Athletic Fund, St. John’s University Development Office, PO Box 7222, Collegeville, MN 56321.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.