Richard Lehman
Richard Lehman
Richard Lehman
Richard Lehman
Richard Lehman

Obituary of Richard Allen Lehman

Richard Allen “Rick” Lehman broke free from 36 years of multiple sclerosis on December 1, 2023, passing peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family.

Rick was born in Great Falls, Montana, on February 18, 1948. Growing up in a military family, he lived in various parts of the U.S., Japan, and Europe before the Lehmans settled in Vancouver, Washington. Rick graduated from Central Washington University in 1970, and later received a BSN from Washington State University (Go Cougars!).

Rick paid his way through college as a firefighter in the Washington State Forest Service, and then was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army, where he was trained to fly helicopters.  He flew medevac missions in Vietnam in 1972 and was in the 54th Medical Detachment at Fort Lewis (JBLM) until 1974.  After nursing school, he worked in an ICU in Washington, D.C. and then returned to the Pacific Northwest where his love for people and his hardworking attitude made him a valuable member of the St. Peter Hospital operating room.

He married Brenda Gayle Bergman in 1986, taking her three children, Eric, Jessica, and Christopher under his wing to nurture and support. They each benefitted greatly from Rick’s character, wisdom, and intelligence, and his impact on their lives cannot be understated.

Once diagnosed with MS, Rick continued to work despite his declining health, until the disease took its toll and he retired in 2006. However, despite his challenges, which eventually included needing full-time care and use of a Hoyer lift in the home, Rick’s sense of humor, good nature, and positive spirit never flagged, becoming an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

Rick believed in public participation, particularly voting, and was a strong advocate for the environment, becoming an early adopter of home solar panels, which he is incredibly proud of. He enjoyed birding, hiking, theater, gardening, collecting art and stamps, and playing cribbage.

Rick will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. His kindness and warmth touched everyone he knew, and he was always happy to chat up strangers and be friendly with everyone. He was a true inspiration to all of us.

Rick is survived by his wife, Brenda Lehman; stepchildren, Eric, Jessica and Chris Bergman; grandchildren, Spencer, Brandon, Aven, Angelo, and Ashton Bergman; and siblings, Ruth and Ken Lehman and Marie Bricker.

Memorial donations may be directed to Heifer International, an organization Rick was very fond of and which he supported often over the years.

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