Michael “Mick” Lenhner, 1948-2013
The Lasting Legacy of Mick Lehner
On February 21, 2013 the world lost one of the good guys. After a 34 year battle against the debilitating disease of Multiple Sclerosis, Mick Lehner fulfilled God’s plan for his life and went to meet his heavenly father. As with most things that described Mick, a simple good bye or a chronological listing of his accomplishments in an obituary just didn’t seem like enough. Through his beliefs, his life, his contact with his students and teaching peers, and his positive attitude; Mick Lehner gave all of us that knew him a lasting legacy that will be handed down for generations to come.
Mick was a family man who loved history and traveling. Nothing thrilled him more than to haul his family and any other “coerced” individuals anywhere in this great state or country to explore various aspects of US History. Mick Lehner could give you a detailed narrative of such places as: Gebo, the battlefields of the Civil War, Paintrocks, medicine wheels, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Mick shared his love of history in his classroom to all those young minds that were fortunate to have him as their teacher. Mr. Lehner brought history “alive” to his students and fostered a love for his favorite subject in their minds.
Mick was passionate. He was passionate about many things: the Boston Celtics (John Havlicek-no one was better than “Hondo”), the New York Yankees (Mickey Mantle – the best ever), music, the Glenrock Herders, good food, teaching, the Wyoming Coaches Association, his church, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and politics. Many great conversations centered on these passions and he was never without a good word on any of them. Mick loved to visit and there was never a person that he couldn’t befriend and talk to in any social setting.
Mick was a great friend and he loved to laugh. Friendships ran deep with Mick. He would often tell anyone who would listen that his best friend for 63 years was his little brother, Tony. The Lehner boys are known throughout the state of Wyoming for their love of life and their ability to tell great stories. Nothing pleased him more than talking about the town of Glenrock and the “old characters” he and his brother Tony encountered as they were growing up. Mick would laugh until he cried as he discussed National Lampoon’s “Kaleidoscope” spoof on a HS yearbook, Pink Panther movies, and The Schmenges.
Mick loved his country. It happened to be a coincidence that he was born on the fourth of July, but Mick often joked that he was 12 years old before he really realized that those fireworks were not for him. The Star Spangled Banner before a big game could put a lump in his throat and singing America the Beautiful could do the same. His love for the red, white, and blue could not be measured; and when coupled with a love of US History it made for a pretty awesome experience in a history classroom at Glenrock High School.
In 1978, some tingling in his arms and episodes of “zinging” back pain sent him to the doctor to investigate, what Mick thought, was a pinched nerve. Those symptoms soon became the devastating diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and a life that would be forever changed. Mick Lehner did not want to live his life from a wheel chair, and spend his adulthood being dependent on so many others to do the things that he felt needed to be done by him alone. He knew this diagnosis changed not only his own future, but the future of his wife and children as well. As devastating as that diagnosis was on that November day long ago, he met this disease head on and continued to be a man of character and integrity. Mick would often mention a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. when he talked about his illness: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” That single quote exemplified Mick Lehner’s battle with his disease throughout his life.
Mick gained recognition from his accomplishments on the athletic fields as a coach of high school students. But when asked about his occupation, Mick would tell you that his love was being an educator and that being a coach was just an extension of his abilities as a teacher. Mick helped instill a love of learning and competing within his students and players, many of whom have chosen a career of teaching and coaching due to his positive influence and impact on their lives.
Michael Harold “Mick” Lehner is survived by his wife Ann; daughter Michelle(Ty) Robertson and son Scott Lehner. Five grandchildren: Kade, Bryce, and Abby Lehner; Cole and Travis Robertson; his mother and father Helen Lee and Mick Lehner; his brother Tony (Carolyn) Lehner; sister Tammy Lehner; sister-in-law Susan Elfeld, and brother-in-law Jim (Franny) Hicks; his aunts Janice Pope and Karen Noble and uncle Dixie Smith; quite a few nieces and nephews, a few cousins, and many devoted friends
A memorial service for Mick will be held on Sunday, March 3rd at 1:00 pm in the Glenrock High School Gymnasium.
Memorials in the name of Mick Lehner can be sent to:
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Wyoming Chapter
141 South Center Street
Casper, WY 82601
Glenrock Community Baptist Church
PO Box 1355
Glenrock, WY 82637
Glenrock Senior Center
PO Box 783 Glenrock, WY 82637