Ruel Forrest Lehman Jr., 99, died peacefully on May 28, 2023. A longtime resident of Oak Park, he moved there from Newark, New Jersey as a child, and moved away only for college and World War II service.
After attending Emerson Elementary School in Oak Park and Oak Park and River Forest High School, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He retired as vice president from the Peoples Gas, Light & Coke Company in 1987.
An avid golfer and member of the River Forest Country Club for nearly 50 years, he served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Urban League as well as the Duncan YMCA, and honorably served as a 1st Lieutenant with the 8th Air Force, piloting B-17 bombers during WWII. With his wife Marilyn, in her role as president of the Oak Park Elementary School Board, he advocated for racial diversity within Oak Park in the 1960s and 70s.
He was the husband of the late Marilyn (nee Moore) and is survived by his three children, Bruce Lehman, Scott Lehman and Martha (Michael) Cordts, and granddaughter Allison and step-granddaughter Katie Cordts.
Services will be held privately.
Arrangements were handled by Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home.
Memorials to Brookfield Zoo or the Oak Park Public Library are appreciated.