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Edward Lehman


1925 - 2018
Edward Lehman Obituary
Ed Lehman, a Colorado newspaper owner and publisher, died November 10, 2018 at the age of 93 surrounded by family and friends at Longmont United Hospital.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday November 16, 2018 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1303 S. Bross Lane, Longmont.

Ed was born in Denver on September 10, 1925. He graduated from St. John's Military School in Salina, KS and returned often for Memorial Day weekend reunions. He earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Denver. Later Ed served as the university's national alumni president and member of the Board of Trustees. Ed received the Evans Award, DU's highest honor.
Ed's newspaper career began when he was 17 years old. He started as a police and fire reporter for the Rocky Mountain News while attending the University of Denver. He later joined The Denver Post and advanced to the position of tri-county editor by the time he completed his law studies.

As a young man, Ed was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives from Denver for the 40th General Assembly. Many years before the highway was completed, Ed was asked to lead a joint effort between Colorado and Utah to obtain an interstate highway system designation for a Denver to Salt Lake City route.

Ed married Ruth Gillespie of Denver on April 22, 1949, and they were married for 50 years. Ed and Ruth practiced law together in Denver before they purchased the majority interest in the Longmont Daily Times-Call in 1957. They worked together to build the newspaper company that would later become Lehman Communications Corporation and grew to include two more daily newspapers, the Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald and the Canon City Daily Record. The company also published the Colorado Hometown Weekly which served Louisville, Lafayette and Erie.

The company produced web press commercial printing and designed and built a state-of-the-art production and printing facility that opened in Berthoud in 2009. Ed took great interest in designing buildings which were well planned.

The newspapers of Lehman Communications were often recognized with awards in state, regional and national journalism contests. The newspapers supported community projects and non-profit organizations in addition to reporting the "hard" news of the day including crime, accidents, politics, and government. The newspapers published many human-interest stories featuring local residents. Ed wrote hundreds of editorials during his career as well as many personal columns.

Ed was a strong advocate for open meetings of government and public records because of his belief in the public's right to know.
Working with local citizens and public officials including former Sen. Gordon Allott, R-Colo., Ed was instrumental in bringing the Federal Aviation Administration facility to Longmont.

"Our father worked in many different areas of Colorado life. Often it was behind the scenes. He was hardworking, versatile and remarkably imaginative," said Ed and Ruth's daughter Lauren, a former Times-Call editor and later financial officer.

The Times-Call supported improvements and expansion of schools, civic buildings, emergency services and the hospital. He was president of the Longmont Chamber of Commerce and the Longmont Rotary Club where he was a member for 60 years. Ed was active in economic development efforts in Longmont and in Colorado.

"Ed was a dedicated and generous man. A talented journalist and businessman, his company's motto, 'To Build A Better World, Start in Your Own Community' helped to inspire many people to do great things," said Dean Lehman, Ed and Ruth's son and former president of Lehman Communications.

Ed received recognition from the Longs Peak Council of Boy Scouts, the Longmont Board of Realtors and the Rotary Club.

Ed was president of the Colorado Press Association where he was named Colorado's Outstanding Publisher in 1967. He served as president of the Chicago-based Inland Press Association and he received its highest honor-- the Ralph D. Casey Minnesota award.

On January 27, 2001 Ed and Connie Coffield were married at St. Stephen's Church in Longmont. They enjoyed travel, attending cultural events and visiting their home in Estes Park.

Lehman Communications was sold in 2011 to Prairie Mountain Publishing, the owner of numerous Colorado newspapers.

Ed loved people and was a warm and gracious host. He positively beamed when guests arrived at the door. He was an enthusiastic woodworker and enjoyed spending time in his shop. Ed had a great sense of humor and always had many good stories to share. He loved his grandchildren dearly.

Ed served on the Boettcher Foundation board of directors for 15 years and was honored with a $500,000 gift for donation to a charity of his choice. Ed chose the YMCA of Longmont which was rededicated in September 2002 as the Ed and Ruth Lehman YMCA in recognition of Ed's gift and the Lehmans' leadership.

Ed is survived by his wife Connie, and daughter Lauren Lehman and her husband John Kivimaki of Erie, son Dean Lehman and his wife Anne of Longmont and Ed and Ruth's two grandchildren.

Ed is also survived by Connie's daughter Dana Coffield and her husband Doug Conarroe of Lafayette, son Lyle Coffield and his wife Cybele Pelcher of Half Moon Bay, CA.

In lieu of flowers contributions are respectfully requested in care of Ahlberg Funeral Chapel, 326 Terry St., Longmont, Colo. 80501. Suggested recipients are the Ed and Ruth Lehman YMCA, the Ascend St. Vrain Scholarship Program of the Longmont Community
Foundation or the Student Scholarship Program at the University of Denver.

Visit www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com to share condolences.
Published in Colorado Hometown Weekly on Nov. 14, 2018
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