Robert J Lehman, age 80, of the town of Matteson, Waupaca County passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on October 15, 2022.
Robert James Lehman was born on April 1st, 1942, the second of seven children of the late Gordon and Anna Lehman. He grew up farming with his family in Bear Creek. He graduated from Bear Creek High School in 1960. He talked fondly of his experiences racing horses)bareback, on a dirt track in Bear Creek. After high school he worked in construction, and served in the National Guard as a Staff Sergeant for 6 years. During that time he also married the love of his life, Carolyn Behnke in 1965. Bob and Carolyn went into dairy farming with Harold Behnke (Carolyn’s dad) and the two partnered until Harold's death. The couple then took over the farm and called it Lehman's Restless Acres. They had two children Shane (1966) and Sherie (1971). The family worked together to manage a dairy herd and grow crops. His children have many happy memories growing up on the farm. They worked hard together but also found time for camping, snowmobiling, traveling and just enjoying country living. Through the years, Restless Acres was home to many animals, including loyal dogs, calves, cats, chickens, rabbits, pigeons and (Bob's favorite) the horses and miniature ponies. In 1994 Bob became a grandparent and loved his role as grandpa. He took every opportunity to teach his grandchildren what he knew about farming, horses and fixing things. He could be seen giving cart rides pulled by two miniature ponies when the grandkids were small. He enjoyed attending their sporting events and looked forward to their frequent visits to the farm. He especially enjoyed the big family gatherings for holidays and celebrations where Carolyn would cook amazing food and he would get to share his never-ending stories. Bob also enjoyed hard work. It was rare to see him not engaged in a ‘fixing’ project, driving his tractor, tending to animals or working a field. When he did take a moment to relax, he and Carolyn would spend the day shopping and visiting flea markets. To his family, Bob will always be remembered as the “Go to Guy''. If any of his family needed help with anything, (fixing, painting, building, snowplowing…) It was Bob who was called. He would always come to help, no matter where and no matter when.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Carolyn (Behnke) Lehman; son and daughter-in-law Shane and Jody Lehman (Clintonville); daughter Sherie Lehman (Clintonville) (special friend Mike Mapes); and five grandchildren; Paige Lehman, Skyler Lehman, Jordan Lehman, Devyn Gee and Coleton Gee. Brothers and sisters: Marie Elsholtz, Richard(Millie) Lehman, Dave(Shelly) Lehman, Gerald (Joanne) Lehman, Jane (Randy) Kriewaldt and Pat (Rick) Rieck. A brother-in-law Merlin (Janet) Behnke, (Grafton WI) and his many beloved nieces and nephews.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Gordon and Anna Marie Lehman; parent-in-laws. Harold and Norma Behnke (Owen),and (Delbert Owen); and brother in-law Robert Elsholtz.
A Memorial Service will be held at 12 PM on Tuesday October18th, 2022 at St Martin Lutheran Church, Clintonville, with Rev. Jason Zobel officiating. Inurnment will follow at Graceland Cemetery, Clintonville with military honors conducted by members of the Clintonville VFW Post #664, American Legion Post #63, DAV Chapter #53, and American Legion Auxiliary Unit #63. Visitation will take place on Tuesday at the church from 10am until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund will be established by Robert’s family. The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral home and Crematory of Clintonville is assisting his family. Special thanks to Pastor Jason Zobel for his spiritual guidance and prayers to Bob and his family. Thank you also to ThedaCare Hospice, and the loving in-home caregivers, Donna Haas, Teri Seefeldt and Lori Schilling.