Cover photo for Charles J. Lehr's Obituary
Charles J. Lehr Profile Photo

Charles J. Lehr

d. May 17, 2024

Charles Jerry Lehr (Charlie, Chuck, Jer, “Lehhhrrrr!”) left us to start his heavenly hammock nap on May 17, 2024. Born on November 12, 1936, he was the only child to Thelma and Charles Joseph Lehr. A byproduct of Greatest Generation parents, Jerry grew up fast when he became the man of the house at a very young age when his father voluntarily joined the war effort after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II. His new responsibilities included an early start to kindergarten to “get me out of my mother’s hair.”

Jer spent his summers as a young boy and teen exploring and enjoying life to the fullest on Irish Lake, where there was no phone or television. All a boy needed for entertainment, nourishment, and hygiene was a fishing pole, water skis, a motorboat, fireworks, and a bar of soap for baths in the lake. He attended Warren Central High School and served as photographer for the yearbook.

A proud Bulldog, Jer attended Butler University and had so much fun as a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity that the house blew up. He safely graduated and started a career in the insurance industry that lasted well over 60 years, gaining him much respect among co-workers and the industry. He was an armed forces veteran, serving as a medic in the Army Reserves.

A leggy blonde teenager by the name of Sandi, who lived across the street, threw caution to the wind and staged a one-woman badminton game in her front yard to grab the attention of studly Jer, who was five years her elder. After many years of window peering and flirting, the two started dating and were married on April 28, 1962. They just celebrated 62 years of marriage. “I love to hear that woman laugh.”

Jer was easy to please, Mr. Cool and Collected, ultra-quick-witted, unselfish, and a man who was never afraid to be himself from crewcuts to cunning remarks. No fancy stuff for this guy.  He preferred to read in his hammock, nurse his beautiful rose garden, watch The History Channel, Turner Classic Movies, and PBS, feed his birds, and watch amateur athletics – a true Hoosier.

He reluctantly entered the world of being a parent coach after his wife volunteered his services coaching basketball around the time Title IX became law and Carmel Dads Club began to expand girls' sports. Coach Lehr’s girls' fifth and sixth-grade basketball team won the league championship, and he wore the same mismatched outfit year after year for good luck while coaching several baseball, softball, and basketball teams. He never missed one of his children’s sporting events, even if they spent their time “riding-the-pine.”

His motto in life was, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and everything is small stuff.”  His anthem was the song “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive.”

He had an uncanny ability to choose just the perfect word or phrase to sum up a situation or offer advice. His sharp wit was matched by his kindness, courtesy, and humility. He was the best husband, son, dad, grandpa, coach, mentor, friend, and all-around good person on earth.

Jer is survived by his wife, Sandi; daughters Terri (John), Debbie, and Paige (Jason); son Jay (Cindy); grandchildren Grace, Brandon (Abbey), Meghann (Dustin); and great-grandchildren.

In his honor, donations can be made to the Hamilton County Humane Society.

If you prefer, raise a glass of Johnnie Walker Red, take a walk, watch a ballgame, or read a great book. Such is life. 

Arrangements by Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Funeral Home.
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