FOSTORIA - Dr. Leonard P. Lehmann, 88, a chiropractor in practice for 50 years who worked to widen acceptance of his profession, died Monday in the Fostoria home of his son, Dr. Steven Lehmann. He had lymphoma, his son said.
Dr. Lehmann was a 1946 graduate of Metropolitan College of Chiropractic in Cleveland, his studies interrupted by Navy service in World War II.
The next year, he began his practice in his hometown of Fostoria, although at first he called himself a "mechanotherapist."
"It was not an era that was pro-chiropractic," his daughter Lou Ann Brandeberry said.
In the 1950s, he added the title of chiropractor.
His way to find acceptance for his profession "was to live it," his daughter said.
"He had eight children. We were healthy. He treated us. He was the team doctor for local sports teams. He took care of priests and nuns at the church here in town.
"He took care of many generations of the same family. He had three sons pursue and get their chiropractic degree," said his daughter, a massage therapist. "He taught us to accept the joy of taking care of others in their time of need."
He worked in the 1970s with the late Paul Gillmor, then a state senator, to help create the Ohio State Chiropractic Board, which regulates the profession and oversees licensure examinations.
His son Dr. Steven Lehmann joined the practice in September, 1989, and six months later, the elder Dr. Lehmann went into semiretirement. He retired at age 75.
"If there were one word to sum up my father's life, it was service," said his son, who took over the practice.
Dr. Lehmann was named 1974 Ohio chiropractor of the year. He was a past treasurer of the Ohio Applied Kinesiology Association.
He was a 1938 graduate of St. Wendelin High School. He had nearly completed studies at chiropractic college when the war began. He became a pharmacist mate first class in the Navy and served in the Pacific Theater. He received four invasion stars.
He was a community volunteer for many years. He was a past president of the Fostoria Lions Club and of the Fostoria High Twelve Club.
He was a member of the American Legion, the Elks Club, and the Eastern Star. He was a member of the Fostoria Shrine Club and the Zenobia Shrine.
"To him, the community was as much his family as his family was," his daughter said. "Anything that man could be involved with, he was out the door to do. He always had his wife with him."
He liked to golf, and he was a fan of the Cleveland Indians.
"He was a warm, insightful man, who could give guidance without you even picking up that he was guiding you," his daughter said.
Surviving are his wife, Dorothea "Dot" Lehmann, whom he married Dec. 13, 1941; sons, James, Dr. Charles, Thomas, Dr. Douglas, Dr. Steven, and Richard Lehmann; daughters, Lou Ann Brandeberry and Carol Reinhard; sisters, Mary Lou Droll and Patricia Hickey; 12 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. today in St. Wendelin Church, Fostoria, of which he was a member. Arrangements are by the Hoening Funeral Home, Fostoria.
The family suggests tributes to the Fostoria Lions Club Sight Fund; St. Wendelin Schools Educational Foundation, or the Shriners Hospital Endowment Fund.