Max Eugene Lehner
1928 - 2021
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Max Eugene Lehner

Rutherfordton, NC - Max Eugene Lehner, age 92, of Rutherfordton, NC, passed away Monday, January 11, 2021.

He was born August 9, 1928, in Marion, Ohio. Max was the youngest son of eight children to the late George Joseph Lehner and Grace Marie Blair. He graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in Ohio, June of 1948. He served two years in the Coast Guard in the Pacific region during WWII. During his 37-year tenure at General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), he held various management positions in Mansfield, Columbus, Lima, and Akron, Ohio, Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan and retired from Atlanta, Georgia in 1989 to Lake Lure, NC. While in Lake Lure and Rutherford County, he served on numerous boards including Environmental Development Council (EDC) and the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) before being elected in Lake Lure Councilman and mayor of Lake Lure for two terms. During his tenure as mayor, the townhall was erected in Lake Lure. Due to his first wife's illness, he moved to Rutherfordton while continuing on several boards as well as chairman of Isothermal Planning and Development Commission (IPDC). He was a member of the Advent Lutheran Church in Rutherfordton, member of the 32-degree Masons and Scottish Rite. Beginning in Mansfield, Ohio, he belonged to the Masons for 65 years and served as secretary and treasurer for several years. In various cities in which he lived, he was a Rotarian and was a Dale Carnegie instructor in Columbus, Ohio. He enjoyed watching Duke basketball, Ohio State University football, NASCAR especially Jeff Gordan and attending concerts sponsored by the Isothermal Community College.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife of 57 years, Betty Lou Hart of Mansfield, Ohio, and third wife Alice Chenoweth Collins Lehner of Rutherfordton, NC, three brothers, Carl, Ray, and Paul, two sisters, Mary Catherine, and Elenore of Marion, OH, and one daughter, Sydney M. Kraushaar of Apex, NC.

Survivors include, one brother, Curtis M. Lehner (Garnet) of Mansfield, Ohio, one sister, Hazel Cusick of Marion, Ohio, one daughter, Patricia D. Love (Edward) of Warren, Ohio. Four grandchildren, Colonel Bryan M. Love (Amanda) of U.S. Army Europe, Brice E. Love (Robyn) of Columbus, Ohio, Hali E. Abruzzo (Mark) of Pepper Pike, Ohio, Lindsay B. Ruffini of Falls Church, Virginia. Ten great grandchildren, Brayden, Jack, and Elijah Love (Bryan), Jacob and Andrew Love (Brice), Natalie and Anthony Abruzzo (Hali), and Aiden, Ella and Madaline Ruffini (Lindsay).

Friends may call on Monday, January 18, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at Gompf Funeral Home, 440 Center St. Cardington, Ohio 43315. The funeral service will begin at the conclusion of calling hours promptly at 11:00 AM and the burial will take place in Glendale Union Cemetery with full military honors.

In accordance with the Governor's mandate, masks will now be required to enter the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, due to COVID-19, the family has requested that donations be made to your local food bank.

Those wishing to share a memory of Max or to express a condolence to the Lehner family may do so by visiting

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Published in News Journal from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, 2021.
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January 15, 2021
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