Monday, June 11, 2012


Remembering Ruth Ann Lehman

I don't yet know details, but I received news that Ruth Ann Lehman passed away this morning. She leaves behind her husband, John and son Randy and daughter Takira (spell?) and many friends and loved ones. Ruth Ann had battled cancer for a number of years, but the news is a shock as I saw her in March at my brother's wedding and she seemed to be in great health. She's so memorable that Tashi remembers our brief conversation in the foyer of the reception hall, and I'm thankful she does because I don't want to ever forget Ruth Ann and her impact on my life during my Wolcott SS days. Her gentle but firm demeanor commanded respect while conveying love. She had such a unique ability to be Jesus to so many and demonstrated a true and genuine listening ear and caring heart. Her enthusiasm for life was contagious and unmistakable! John and Ruth Ann were full of energy and passion and cared so deeply for all of us at Wolcott. The camping trips on weekends and the bonfires at their house and the games they'd organize to get us all together, the soap making and Pizza King pizza nights. Ruth Ann was instrumental in all of this and it made a difference in all of our lives. As I've thought more about it the last few hours, I realized that my post earlier today regarding my "salvation birthday" is due in part to John and Ruth Ann. They were a major reason our Wolcott SS class went on our mission trip to the Jamaica Deaf Village in March of 2002, where God would begin a process of shaping and directing my life. Without that trip, I would not be where I am today. And then as I shared some memories with Tashi I realized that there is more to that story. As our team in '02 was checking in for the flight from MoBay, the airline announced that they needed to bump a few passengers. In line it was John and Ruth Ann and their son Randy, followed by Chris and Renae Bahler and then myself. The Lehman's were interested in being bumped, but it seemed that they only needed to bump two passengers. Not wanting to split up their family, they decided to pass on the opportunity and allowed Chris and Renae to take the bump package, which included a night at a local hotel and a voucher to cover a round-trip return flight to Montego Bay. As I checked-in I asked about being bumped, but the lady stated that they only needed two, which is why the Lehman's were not bumped but the Bahlers were. I moved on and as we were waiting at the gate, the agent returned to our group and informed me that they needed to bump one more passenger if I was still interested. I said absolutely and so joined Chris and Renae on a one day adventure in Montego Bay. I didn't realize at that time, of course, how monumental this event was in my life. It was that voucher ticket that led me to look for a return trip to Jamaica, which happened in June of 2004 (eight years ago today, blogged about below), which is when I realized how desperately short I had fallen from the grace of God and turned to Christ for salvation in Montego Bay. I also carry a memory from that of John and Ruth Ann showing nothing but happiness for me that I got that third ticket instead of their family. It's just who they are, genuine lovers of people and they are the last people to think of themselves. Truly giving and sacrificing for the benefit of others. I can't imagine the pain in the offering up of Ruth Ann for John and their two children. Please join me in praying for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to be felt in mighty ways in their hearts and souls. Ruth Ann, you are loved, missed and remembered.

*update: It was not cancer, but rather a tragic car accident where she lost control of the car, flipped and was ejected. A sobering reminder that we may be called home at any time. I have to think, would I have even a portion of Ruth Ann's testimony if it were me. She was a truly amazing woman of God and very intentionally loved others. God help the Lehman family!

Ruth Ann life was a testimony of God's love and faithfulness. Through life's experiences, Ruth Ann made a huge difference in this world we live in today. We can't imagine the impact her life had on so many souls, from all over this globe. She was a true wittness for the Lord. Our days go back to the youth group, where she was a joy to be with. She was an inspiration to all of us. She will deeply be missed! We don't understand, but we trust God, who is in contol of all things. Our prayers and love go out across the miles, to the family, dean & jaci gerber, bluffton, in
You have all spoken so eloquently about a beautiful woman I was blessed to claim as my cousin,. Thank you
I went to High School with Ruth and am saddened to hear about her passing. I got to visit with her for a while while I was back home in IN visiting 2 years ago. I am so glad that I got that time and remember how she exuded joy in her journey and gave such a moving testimony of how the Lord had been with her every step of the way with her bout with cancer. I was truly blessed listening to her. She is surely singing praises now. I pray her family will find comfort and the peace from the Lord as they walk this path. She has truly left a void on this earth that can't be filled.
Truly awesome person Ruth was! I will always remember her with a big smile just like hers! I am the next door neighbor of Ted and Sandy Steffen and only saw Ruth a few times for graduation and family parties @ their house! Prayers for comfort and peace from the Lord we all were truly blessed to be part of Ruth's life!

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