Parren ‘Pete’ Lehman

Parren ‘Pete’ Lehman

Parren Edgar “Pete” Lehman Jr., 97, of Alma, Michigan, and formerly of Maquoketa, died Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, of natural causes while living in Masonic Pathways Senior Living Services in Alma.

A celebration of life service will be held at Penzien Steele Funeral Home at 11 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2020, with visitation from 10 a.m. to service time at the funeral home. Entombment will be at First Presbyterian Church Columbarium.

Mr. Lehman was born Dec. 30, 1921, in Sunbury, Penn., to Parren E. Lehman Sr. and Mary Kiehl Lehman.

When he was 5 the family moved to Port Huron, Mich. He was a 1941 graduate of Port Huron High School and Kemper Military College in 1943. He served in the Navy Air Corps during World War II until 1946. He was honorably discharged on April 11, 1946, holding the rank of flight engineer/combat gunner.

He married Elizabeth “Betty” Smith on June 24, 1950, in Saginaw, Mich.

He was employed by the JC Penney Co. from 1946 to 1981, serving as assistant manager or manager in stores located in Saginaw; South Bend, Ind., Galesburg, Ill., Racine, Wis., Miller, S.D., Maquoketa, Iron Mountain, Mich., and Kingsford, Mich.

Mr. Lehman and his family moved to Maquoketa when he was transferred here in 1963 to manage the JC Penney store on South Main Street. They resided here until 1978, when he was transferred to Iron Mountain, Mich. They remained there until Pete’s retirement in 1982.

While in Maquoketa he was active in the Maquoketa Area Chamber of Commerce and other local retail business activities. He was a member of the Maquoketa Rotary Club and he and Betty were members of the Maquoketa United Church of Christ.

In 1986 the couple moved to the Smith cottage they remodeled on Killarney Beach Road in Bay City, Mich. In 2004 they moved to Appletree Lane in Bay City until relocating to Masonic Pathways in 2016. 

Through the years, Mr. Lehman was active in Toastmasters International, Kiwanis and Rotary. He was a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary. Since 1954 he was active in the Wenona Lodge No. 256 A.F. & A.M. Scottish Rite Bodies — Valley of Bay City and the Elf Khurafeh Shrine Temple.

As a couple, he and Betty were active in the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City, the Boca Grande Club in Boca Grande, Fla., the Saginaw Club and the Saginaw Bay Yacht Club.

Mr. Lehman had many hobbies, including boating, fishing, organ playing, wood duck carving, watercolor painting, golfing, gardening, stained glass working and tennis. Most of all, he loved story telling. He was revered for his stories; he was clever and very funny.

Survivors include two daughters, Deborah Smith Lehman of West Chicago, Ill., and Elizabeth “Libbie” Lehman (Mrs. Richard “Tad”) Sheldon of Incline Village, Nev.; one brother, Marlin Lehman of Bradenton, Fla.; one sister, Betty Lou Lehman NcNiece of Port Huron, Mich.; two granddaughters; two great-grandsons and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife on Sept. 14, 2019; two brothers, Jack K. Lehman and Charles W. Lehman and one sister, Mary Jane Guida.