John H. Lehman

February 21, 1925 ‒ December 27, 2020

Lexington, Ohio

Better known by his Amateur Radio call sign WA8MHO, after a life of always helping others, John H. Lehman, 95, of Lexington, passed away Sunday, December 27th, 2020 at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital.

The son of Henry A. and Edith B. (Hutchison) Lehman, John was born February 21st, 1925 in Canfield, Ohio and graduated from Canfield High School. In 1946 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1948 as a Corporal. Due to his parents being Mennonite and Quaker, as his family’s first to serve, he always joking said, “I wasn’t allowed to raise a gun, so I hung out the side of planes doing photographic reconnaissance.” John was also trained as an air traffic controller. He truly enjoyed playing lead trumpet both in a military band and a jazz swing band.

After receiving many awards, National Geographic wanted John to travel for them, but he wanted to go to college. John worked for Tom Grist’s Studio in Youngstown before going out on his own, shooting weddings, portraits and NASCAR dirt track for their promotions.  John taught photography at Youngstown College and on a local TV station.  It was also at Youngstown College that he met his chemistry lab partner Mary E. Martine while earning his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. John and Mary were married November 12th, 1952.

John, a Licensed Professional Engineer, worked for Standard Oil, SOHIO, as a Lubrication Engineer and was even instrumental in designing lubrication formulas used by NASA. He retired as SOHIO’s Chief Engineer of Sales and Service.

John, WA8MHO, was one of the driving forces behind the Eye Bank Net, formed in 1962, providing communications concerning the transport of eye tissue for emergency corneal transplant operations, resulting in saving the sight of 11,066 eyes. Several Miss Ohio’s and Miss Ohio Teens lead the Mansfield parade perched on the folded down convertible top of John’s red 1948 Jeepster, with InterCity Amateur Radio Club coordinating the procession. As a member of InterCity, and lifetime member of the Ohio Single Sideband Net and America Radio Relay League, ARRL, John used his passion for Ham Radio to transmit around the world, in public service and in emergency communications during manylocal and national disasters including Katrina and September 11th, 2001.

He was a 60 year member of the Marion Masonic Lodge #70 F.&A.M. A 32nd Degree Mason, he was also a member of the Valley of the Canton Scottish Rite, the Al Koran Shrine in Cleveland and the Aladdin Shrine in Columbus.

John also showed his love for life as a pet whisperer, taming every small animal he rescued, raised, photographed and sometimes released.

John is survived by his wife Mary E. Lehman of Lexington; his children Linda L. (Lehman) and William Howson, Elizabeth A. (Lehman) and James Murphy, John S. Lehman, James A. Lehman and Terry Zimmerman, and Joseph M. Lehman and Rae (Carmack) Lehman; grandchildren Heather, Caitlin, Daniel, Nathan and Maggie; and great granddaughter Emily.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his older brother Harold A. Lehman; grandson John A. Lehman; and daughter-in-law, son John’s wife, Sharron K. Simmons.

Public visitation will be held Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 from 10 am – 12 pm in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Homes where Masonic services will be performed by the Marion Masonic Lodge #70. Private funeral services will continue with Pastor Larry Grahn officiating. Funeral services may be viewed at 12 pm Tuesday, January 5th, via live-stream through the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Homes Facebook Page. Military honors performed by the Bellville American Legion Post #535 will follow on the funeral home grounds. Burial will be held Wednesday, January 6th at 1 pm at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Youngstown.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Salvation Army or Shriner’s Children’s Hospital may be made through Snyder’s funeral home.

Online condolences to the family may be made by visiting: 

  • To Mary, Linda, Elizabeth, John, Jim, Joe and your families. What memories and special moments you have that will never fade. Your father was special in so many ways and you’ve been blessed to have him as a father. May God Bless you as you find your way of coping thru such a loss. Our deepest sympathies to each of you. The Robertses, Sharyn, Mike, Mic, Vanessa and Xavier

  • Mary, Linda, Elizabeth, John, Jim, and Joe – you, your families, and loved ones hold a special place in my heart. I am deeply saddened by your loss, and send my positive thoughts and prayers to all of you.

    I was blessed to be able to call John both my mentor and friend, and credit his efforts in helping shape the person I am today. I too will miss his earthly presence in those chance encounters on the airwaves, or a few brief moments at amateur radio events.

    Thanks for allowing me to join in remotely as you celebrate John’s amazing life on this earth, and may divinity comfort each of you in the days ahead on your own journeys.

    Jim Kvochick & Roberta J. Estes

  • I am saddened to hear of John’s passing. You have my deepest condolences.

    John was a remarkable person. It was my pleasure to work with John with the Miss Ohio Parade. If I needed a vehicle to transport a contestant or person of honor, all I had to do was ask John and he would say yes, sometimes going through the parade more than one time. My grandson and I also rode with John a couple of times to bring up the rear of the parade.

    Well respected by all who new him, worked with him and volunteered with him, he will be greatly missed.

    May thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Good friend and good neighbor, you will be missed John.
    My sincere condolences to the family.

    Bill Reese, W8WER