August Lehmann
August Lehmann
August Lehmann
August Lehmann
August Lehmann
August Lehmann

Obituary of August Lehmann

August Lehmann passed away in Dawson Creek & District Hospital on November 4 at the age of 84.

 

He was born on July 19, 1937, in Ohseln, Latvia to Stefanie (Fandrich) and August Lehmann.  He was the 6th of nine children: Erich (deceased) Gertrude (deceased), Artur (deceased), Alfred (deceased), Waldimar (deceased), Helene, Kurt (deceased), August and Helga.

 

August’s family had a farm in Latvia where the children grew up helping on the farm, so it was natural that our August would eventually purchase land and build a beautiful eight-sided house, hay shelter and airplane hangar.

 

As the Second World War came towards its end, the Lehmann family had to flee Latvia as the Russian army invaded. They emigrated to Canada where they settled in Westlock, Alberta and then moved to Wetaskiwin. There, August attended high school (learning English as he went) and worked at the local airport to pay for flying lessons.  It was then that his true love for flying really started to show.

 

After high school he worked for a few years as an Air Traffic Controller at the Edmonton International Airport where he continued to show his interest in aviation.

 

He then decided to go to University of Alberta in order to become a teacher.  An ideal choice for him because he did love to explain things in detail! His teaching degree led to his first job in Hinton, AB where he met and married Annhild Sandomir. They decided to go teach with CUSO, an international charity organization, and were assigned to Jamaica where their daughter, Stefanie was born. They then moved back to Canada and settled in Calgary where their son Erich was born. Shortly after August and Annhild decided to go their separate ways. August was a loving father to his two children (Stefanie and Erich).

 

August then met a wonderful lady, Bonnie Ferguson (his second wife. It was love at first sight; they were married on August 1, 1975.  August and Bonnie took their honeymoon flying to Ontario to visit her family in an old Taylorcraft airplane that he had bought in 1975. This also involved camping under the wing and fighting off the mosquitoes.

 

The children eventually chose to live with August and Bonnie because they lived on a farm and had neat things like horses and a quad. The children enjoyed a happy childhood as August taught them to enjoy the great outdoors and the beauty of nature as much as he did. Not every kid gets a chance to grow up flying in small aircraft across western Canada with their pilot parents!

 

Tragedy struck in 1991 when his son Erich was killed in an industrial accident. In memory of Erich, August created the Erich W. Lehmann Memorial Award of Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, at Northern Lights College.

 

Fortunately, Stefanie had already presented them with their first granddaughter, Casey (& Tyler), who was followed by granddaughter, Darcy and grandson, Lance (& Paige).  August was thrilled this summer to learn that Casey & Tyler were going to make him a great grandfather.

 

August taught many years at Central Junior High/Middle school, where many young people remember him teaching them Math, Typing, German, and eventually Computer Skills. (He was Mark’s German teacher). He finished off his teaching career at South Peace Senior Secondary School doing Learning Assistance. August spent his summer vacation from teaching as a Commercial Pilot for Kenn Borek Air and as a flight instructor.

 

Then came the fun time of his life during retirement.  His love of flying finally had a chance to blossom.  August had taken the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer course at Northern Lights College and decided to rebuild an aircraft in his retirement - CF-KOT (Cessna 170) with the assistance of Tyler Kindermann.  It was so much fun that it was followed by C-GLEH (Cessna 180), C-GAUG (RV6) and finally C-GPGP (Piper PA-20).  With these projects he often appreciated the physical help and good ideas of his two “adopted sons”, Mark Sutton and Rod Folster. Three of the four airplanes are still in the “family”, owned by Mark and Rod.

 

There were lots of Fly-ins, trips to Oshkosh, flights to visit family in Ontario and flights to the mountains to go hunting.

 

His deteriorating health led to putting the farm up for sale in 2020 and moving into town. It was a hard decision to make but it was all for the best.

 

August was a Mason (Past Worshipful Master), a Shriner, a founding member of the Alaska Highway Recreational Aircraft Association and a 60-year member of COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association).

 

He is survived by his loving wife, Bonnie Lehmann, his daughter, Stefanie Harris, three grandchildren: Casey Harris (Tyler McGougan). Darcy Harris, and Lance Harris (Paige Glenn).

 

 It was a life well lived!

  A private family service will be held.  A Celebration Of Life will be held for August at a later date.  For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of August to the Canadian Cancer Society, 1100 Alward Street, Prince George, British Columbia V2M 7B1.

Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium

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