Celia Barbara Gerber Lehman, 94
Celia Barbara Gerber Lehman of Maple Terrace, Orrville and formerly of Kidron, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, having spent ninety four years on this earth.
Celia was born at home to a farm family on April 9, 1928, consisting of parents, Fairy (Amstutz) and Grover Gerber, and three older siblings.
Celia married Calvin R Lehman on March 30 of 1968.
As a twelve year old Celia joined and was a lifetime member of the Kidron Mennonite Church. She showed leadership skills as a Bible and Sunday school teacher, and various aspects of the music program.
Celia was a Kent State University graduate, after Goshen College and Dalton High School in 1948. As an adolescent she suffered from a hip disorder that detained her for two years, and returned to school by the encouragement of the principal to restart her education. Celia attended the Kidron one room school. While a next door neighbor, lifelong friend, Gilda Kratzer Lehman, attended Silver Hill since the boundary line went between their farms.
Celia worked as a telephone operator in Kidron, at the LE Sommer feed mill, taught fifth grade at Kidron School for forty years and wrote for the Daily Record, and of late wrote the “Bible Nuggets” for the Budget. During her teaching career, she spent two years in Kinshasa, Zaire, teaching fifth grade embassy students.
Celia volunteered: as a youth for a summer mission tour near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; with Calvin, a summer stint in Bienenberg Bible School, Switzerland, and to children’s home in Mexico; a docent at the Kidron Heritage center, and at a clerk at the MCC Connections thrift store.
In addition to her artistic and photographic aptitude, her hobbies were entertaining people, writing, and music. Her ability to be creative and organized prompted her to not only feed numerous individuals at her table, but also frequently hosted internationals for extended stays.
Celia loved to write, having written four plays, mostly about local history; and published eight books. She consistently corresponded to foreign missionaries, as well as to her own extended family, and kept a journal.
In addition to her parents, Celia was preceded in death by her husband, Calvin Lehman; step-daughter, Audrey Lehman Willis; step-daughter-in- law, Virginia Brubaker Lehman; and her three siblings, Dorothy (David) Schrock of Smithville, Ellis (Edna) Gerber of Mt Lake, MN and Ruth Gerber of Orrville, OH.
Celia is survived by three step-children, Galen (Alise) Lehman of Wooster, Judith (Seth) Ramer of Grantsville, MD, and Ethan (Karen) of S. Hutchinson, KS.; five grandchildren: Timothy (Emily) Lehman of Geneseo IL, Becky (Tobias) Keyes of Pleasant View, MI, Luke Lehman (Allyson) of Sagamore Hills, OH, Roscoe (Kristina) of Dalton, and Fritz of Hesston, KS.; and eleven great-grandchildren: Timothy Jr, Henry, Kate, Calvin, Titus, Lucy, Colon, Claire, Jetson, Annie, and Jericho.
Before her marriage, she was endeared to eight nieces and nephews: Robert (Mary) Schrock, Smithville, Leah Bishop, Rita (Pete) Sutter, Judy (Alan) Miller, all of Apple Creek, and Hannah (Mike) Gehman, Orrville, Danny, Minneapolis, MN, Becky (Rick) Ruddy, Canon Falls, MN, and Joanna (Randy) Pinkerton, Wichita KS. A large extended family including first cousins were special to her.
The Lehman Family is grateful to the many staff over the years at Maple Terrace, to the extended family, and to the Kidron Mennonite Church family for all the prayers and kindnesses shown to her over the last several years.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to MCC Connections or the mission fund of the Kidron Mennonite Church.
Services will be held at the Kidron Mennonite Church on Monday, February 13, 2023 at 11:00 am with Pastor Carl Wiebe and Pastor Randy Murray officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call on Sunday, February 12, 2023 from 2-4 PM at the church or on Monday one hour prior to services.. Spidell Funeral Home in Mount Eaton is handling the arrangements.