Billie Edward Lehman was welcomed to Heaven by his family and friends on April 11, 2011 at the age of 77. He was the third of six children born to the late Roy and Edna Voyles Lehman on December 11, 1933 in Sawyerville, IL. He was united in marriage to Patsy Jacobsen on September 1, 1973 in Springfield, IL. They shared 38 loving years. His beloved wife survives.
He was a dedicated employee of Olin Corporation, retiring in 1993 after 42 years of service. He was a 50 year member of Machinist Union, Local 660. Proud to be an American, he was an Army Veteran and Reservist, retiring after 27 years. He served with the 936th Maintenance Co. in Wood River, IL and the 520th Battalion in St. Louis, MO. He was a Past Commander and Life Member of Amvets and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion all of Mt. Olive, IL.
In addition to his wife, he is also survived by his children: Kevin Lehman, David Lehman, Melanie Thatcher, Karen North, Bill Riegert, Sandy Cassidy, 9 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, sisters in law, Lola Lehman, Nancy Lehmann, sister and brother in law, Mary Beth and Donald Wurtz.
Bill also enjoyed many years of dedication to his Masonic membership. A 43 year member and Past Master of Gillespie Lodge 214 AF and AM, Past High Priest Hillsboro Royal Arch Masons, Past Commander St. Omer Commandery Knight Templar and Past Thrice Illustrations Master Carrollton Council, Royal and Select Masters. After serving as Master of his lodge, and head of the Chapter, Council and Commandery of his local York Rite bodies, in 1977 he was elected to receive the designation of Knight of the York Cross of Honour, an honorary degree, highest in the York Rite of Freemasonry. Bill was the only initiated member of Gillespie Lodge to be so honored in its 155 year history. He was also a member of Ansar Shrine and Ansar Legion of honor, Springfield, IL M & M Shrine Club and Zephyrhills, FL Shrine Club and Past Patron of Bunker Hill Order of the Eastern Star.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Roy, John and Jack, sisters, Becky Lehman and Evelyn Klobnak, daughter Stephanie and son Michael.
Visitation will be held on Friday, April 15, 2011 from 5 to 8 PM at Kravanya Funeral Home in Gillespie, IL. Masonic services will be at 7 PM.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at Kravanya Funeral Home in Gillespie, IL at 10 AM with Rev. Nancy Ribes officiating. He will be laid to rest in Benld Cemetery in Benld, IL.
At his request memorials may be made to beautiful hometown park, Simon Pomatto Memorial Park, Gillespie, IL. Anyone wishing to send online condolences may do so at www.kravanyafuneral.com.