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Jack Lehman


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Jack Lehman Obituary
January 27, 1928 - September 14, 2017 Jack Lehman was born Jaco Walruch in Chemnitz, Germany, to Jewish parents Solomon and Eva. Jack and his sister Hella came to Ellis Island by themselves as refugees at the ages of 7 and 9, respectively. Their family perished in Nazi Germany, and they were raised by their adoptive parents Moe and Lil Lehman in Lake Arrowhead, CA. Jack attended UC Berkeley, where he studied political science and fell deeply in love with LuLu Levinson, his late wife of 57 years. During the Korean War, he was stationed in Japan as a radio communications officer. After graduating from Berkeley in 1951, Lehman worked at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, hosting news segments, local talent shows, and the widely-popular children's program "Commander Lee." Lehman worked in various capacities for Nevada Democratic Governors Grant Sawyer, Mike O'Callaghan and Richard Bryan. He held positions in the Department of Economic Development for the States of Nevada and California, and was the Chairman of the Colorado River Commission. After earning a law degree at USC, and nearly two decades as an attorney in Las Vegas, Lehman was appointed as a Judge to the 8th Judicial District Court in Nevada in 1988, a post he held until his retirement in 2003. The cornerstone of Lehman's legacy as a judge was his creation of the Las Vegas Drug Court in 1992, offering drug offenders the opportunity to offset prison sentences through a system of rigorous rehabilitation and testing. During his 11-year tenure on the Drug Court bench, Lehman changed thousands of lives, helping users to avoid prison and to find lasting treatment for their addiction. Jack always felt at home in nature. He was an avid hiker, making yearly pilgrimages to Zion Canyon in Utah and the rocky coastline of central Oregon. He cherished the music of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, and never stopped laughing at every episode of Seinfeld. He is survived by his sister Helen Reid Brown, children Jessica Lehman Hirsch (Peter Hirsch) and Steve Lehman (Suzie Lehman), his grandchildren Brittany Lehman, Briana Stone (Jordan Stone), Sara Hirsch Guerrieri (Chris Guerrieri), and Adam Hirsch, and his great-grandchildren Caden and Olivia Stone. Jack died peacefully at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, CA, surrounded by his family. His legacy is one of survival and perseverance, labor and devotion, laughter and love, and a ceaseless desire to improve the lives of those around him. A memorial service will be held at 3pm on Sunday, September 17th at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles. Contributions in Jack's honor can be made to the Jack and Lulu Lehman Scholarship Fund, to provide educational opportunities for graduates of the Las Vegas Juvenile Drug Court. Checks can be made payable to the California Community Foundation, specifying Jack and Lulu Lehman Scholarship Fund in the memo, to 221 S. Figueroa St., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 16, 2017
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