Samuel R. Lehman (1947 - 2014)

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Samuel R. Lehman, retired master sergeant, U.S. Air Force, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 9, 2014, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Gayle Jackson Lehman; son, Bryan Michael (Christy) Lehman; daughter, Karen Lehman Campbell; son, David Lee Lehman; honorary son, Terry Jackson (Jennifer); honorary daughter, Teresa Jackson Coleman (Steve); and grandchildren, Savannah, William, Kaylee, Lucas, Johnny, Kimberly, Brandon, Matthew, Bryan Michael Jr., Josh, Lauren, Steven, Stephanie, Robbie, Justin, Tyler, Landen, Leah; and several great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his much loved brother, Bobby; and adored sisters, Kathy and Janey. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Preston Lehman Jr.
Sam was born on Oct. 3, 1947, to Preston and Betty Lehman. He was born a Mennonite and spent his early years working on his parent's dairy farm. At 17, he joined the Air Force. He began his career with 2 ½ years in counterinsurgency as an expert marksman in Vietnam and was awarded with the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross. He then attended EOD School and found his true calling. EOD defined the man he became. His innate ability to understand all things mechanical, electrical, and explosive made him one of the leading experts in this dangerous field. His greatest satisfaction was that in all the missions he led, he never lost a single troop. He brought them all home alive and well.
He retired from the Air Force and operated his own auto repair shop for 15 years, but was once again drawn to EOD. This time as an instructor at the Naval EOD School, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He shared his vast knowledge when teaching and training his students. His goal for them was to be effective in their field, but to also come back home alive. His students respected and admired this old master sergeant. Many asked him to pin them upon their graduation-the highest honor a student can bestow upon an instructor. Declining health brought an end to his time with EOD.
His last years were spent in love and laughter with his wife on their small farm in Holt, Fla. He called it a petting zoo. The grandchildren spent many an hour petting and playing with the horse, goat, rabbits, chickens, barn cats and dogs.
His life was most successful in that he was well loved by his extended family and at peace in the Grace of God.
Pastor Ted Jernigan will lead us in a memorial service with full military honors at First Baptist Church of Milligan, 5238 Old River Road, Milligan, FL, on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, at 3 p.m. The family will receive friends at the church from 2 p.m., until the service hour. Honorary pall bearers are Jack Chalfant, Richard Spears, Billy Sasser, Elmer Cash, R.G. Kuhn, James Horning and Charles R. Smith.
His many friends are invited to attend and share their memories of this incredible man.

Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Jan. 12, 2014
Samuel R. Lehman
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5641 Highway 90 West | Milton, FL 32583 | (850) 623-2205
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Milton, FL   (850) 623-2205
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