Lifelong Weslaco resident Richard Lehman passed away peacefully September 30, 2018, at Knapp Medical Center. Richard was preceded in death by his parents Virginia Pierce and Virgil Lehman. He is survived by his wife Roxie Freeman Lehman, stepchildren Kim McBride (Jon Whitaker), Kelly McBride (Anna Roberts), grandchildren Roxana Maiberger, Mary Katherine McBride, Rebecca McBride and his sister Nancy Lavinski (Richard) and many cousins and friends who loved Richard dearly.
Richard was born November 12, 1943, in the Mid Valley's only hospital at the time in Mercedes on Texas Avenue. He graduated from Weslaco High School in 1962 and went to Southwestern University where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha.
He was always a champion for developing Weslaco as a great place to do business, raise a family, and enjoy nature. He retired from Mercedes ISD where he taught science at Mercedes High School. Many of his former students continue to talk about what they learned from him. He was selected as Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year for the State of Texas in 1979. After retiring from teaching, he then went to work for Weslaco. He was a founder of the Valley Nature Center and provided leadership for Frontera Audubon. He was instrumental in Weslaco being selected as a World Birding Center site and wrote the grant to turn a cornfield into the main water feature at Estero Llano Grande. He continued to impact the youth of the area through his efforts at various nature centers across the Valley.
In addition to his promotion of nature, he served on the Weslaco Economic Development Board of Directors for several years. He continued to promote nature and Mid-Valley history every chance he got to the day of his death.
Richard was an animal lover. As a younger man, he raised Standard Poodles, trained them and showed them in Dog Shows across the country. In the last several years he and Roxie rescued and adopted several dogs and a cat. Their home was open to all types of strays, canine, feline and even human. Richard was good to so many even as he struggled with his health.
In lieu of flowers please donate to one of Richard's favorite charities: Weslaco Museum, Friends of Estero Llano Grande, Frontera Audubon Society, Valley Nature Center or Aurora House.
Inurnment of ashes will be held on Sunday, November 11th, 4pm, Weslaco City Cemetery. A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 12th, 2018, 10am, at Grace Episcopal Church in Weslaco.
Richard was so very kind to me when I was nervous about attending my first Poodle Club of America National. He always made me feel welcome in the ensuing years, which I very much appreciated. May his family be comforted by many fond memories of this generous man..
So sorry to just hear about this. Being so far away I had not heard from Richard for a while and I knew something was wrong when he always use to call each month. I am so sorry to hear about his passing.He was a wonderful person and I always enjoyed his wit and humor. He was a hard worker and dedicated man in his love for Poodles and a very active members for numerous years for The Poodle Club of America. Rest easy old friend I will miss you.
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