Walter Herman “Walt” Leehmann, 95, died at Lake District Hospital on Saturday, July 19, 2014.
Walter was born to Walter and Edith (Ogle) Leehmann in Lakeview on July 4, 1919. He grew up in Lakeview and graduated from Lakeview High School and then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State College. While in college he started the Oregon State College Saddle Club and helped organize, build and maintain a stable at the college to house student owned saddle horses.
Walt was inducted into the Army on Nov. 7, 1942 and was serving in the Mounted Cavalry Division at Fort Reilly, Kan. when they made the transition from horse cavalry to the mechanized cavalry. He took part in the Normandy invasion and Normandy was where he met his true love, Virginia Jean Switzer while she was serving as a nurse in a field hospital. After the war Walt kept in touch with Jean and they were married in Cincinnati, Ohio on Nov. 25, 1947. They moved to Lakeview and enjoyed the ranch life together until Jean’s death in 2010.
Walt was a very community minded man and served his community in many way. He was a charter member of the F. F. A., the leader of the 4-H Horse Club for 15 years, started the Lakeview High School Rodeo Club and served as their advisor for many years in addition to transporting the kids and their horses to rodeos all over Oregon, was a member of the Lakeview Water Users board for 42 years, was president of the Lake County Sheepman’s Association, the Stockgrowers Association, the National Grazing Committee and served on the Lake County School Board for many years. Walt also was the recipient of the Lake County Horsemen’s Association Horseman of the Year award in 1975, was the Lake County Round-up President in 1952 and was also the Grand Marshall. He served on the Forest Service Advisory Board and the B.L.M. Grazing Advisory Board. He was a member of the Thomas Creek Grange and the First Presbyterian Church of Lakeview.
Walt is survived by: sons, Doug Leehmann and Robbie Leehmann both of Lakeview; daughters, Janet Leehmann of Bend and Judee Leehmann of Apache Junction, Ariz.; daughter-in-law, Marie Leehmann of Summer Lake; grandsons and wives, Casey and Trisha Leehmann, Ryon and Shelly Leehmann, Kevin and Erica Leehmann, Justin and Heather Horlacher and Jamie and Tori Horlacher; two great-granddaughters and six great-grandsons.
To honor Walt’s request, no services will be held. Contributions may be made to the Past Presidents Round Up Museum, 438 Mountain View, Lakeview 97630; Westside-Thomas Creek Fire Dept., P.O. Box 425, Lakeview 97630 or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Desert Rose Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.