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Eugene Ira Lehrmann
1917 - 2013
Eugene Ira Lehrmann (Gene), 96, formerly of Madison, Kenosha and Wausau, Wis., passed away at home in Parker, Colo., on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. His wife of 69 years, Jane; daughter, Judy, and son-in-law, Jon, were at his side.
Gene was born at home in Two Creeks, Wis., on April 8, 1917, to the late William and Lilly (Mattek) Lehrmann. He married Jane Doris Feldmann on Nov. 23, 1944, in San Antonio, Tex.
He will be remembered as a dedicated teacher, devoted mentor and veteran of United States Army Air Forces. He earned a bachelors and masters degree in Agricultural Engineering from UW-Madison and taught agriculture courses in Stratford and Wausau, Wis., before moving to Kenosha in the 1958 to serve as the Director of the then Kenosha Vocational School. He was instrumental in creating and building the Gateway Technical College campus at its current location. Two months after it opened, in 1967, Gene was selected to be the Wisconsin State Director of Vocational and Adult Education, now known as the Wisconsin Technical College System. Gene was also instrumental in efforts to bring Carthage College to the area while being director. Upon his retirement, he became active in many philanthropic organizations, serving as president of the Wisconsin Retired Teachers Association; chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging as well as chairman of the Wisconsin Board on Aging & Long Term Care. In the mid 1990s he served as the national president of AARP and we are very proud of his efforts to help seniors across the country and the world.
He was an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church while living in Kenosha. In his spare time, he enjoyed camping, chopping wood and roasting marshmallows with his grandchildren when Camping without Parents. He will always be remembered for his genuine smile and always being true to his word.
In addition to his wife, Jane and daughter, Judy Griswold (Jon Mikesell), Gene is survived by sons, Bill (Heather) Lehrmann of Midland, Mich.; Jim (Linda) Lehrmann and Kurt (Jan) Lehrmann of Racine, Wis.; grandchildren, Tammy (Fidel Rodriguez) Lehrmann; Shelley (Lee Anderson) Jepson; Josh Lehrmann; Chris (Christine) Lehrmann, Kyle Lehrmann, and Aubrey Lehrmann; great grandchildren, Camille, Alyssa, Sydney, Carlie, Annabella and Addilyn; step great grandchildren, Layla and Emalee; sister- and brother-in-law, Mickey and Leo Newhouse, as well as nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Gene was preceded in death by his brother, Hank, and his wife, Grace; sister, Wilma Swagel, and her husband, David.
Family lovingly called him Papa and will be remembered as a caring father and grandfather. His grandchildren at times used the name Grosspapa to remind him of his German descent of which he was very proud. Many remember Butch as a special nickname from years ago.
There will be a memorial service for Gene at Oakwood Village, University Woods Auditorium, 6205 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705 on Monday Dec 2nd at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Oakwood Foundation, Inc., 6205 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI, 53705, or Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, 2833 Raritan Road, Fitchburg, WI, 53711.
Published online at KenoshaNews.com on Nov. 10, 2013