It is with genuine sorrow that we announce to the family of the C.S. Lewis Foundation that Robert “Bob” Lehnhart passed away on August 17, 2009 in a boating accident in the Pacific off Juneau, Alaska, the home of one of his and Mary’s children and grandchildren.
On Saturday, August 29, 2009, a memorial service was held for Bob at Presbyterian Church of the Master, his and Mary’s church in Mission Viejo, California. In a warm and moving service, many hundreds of people from all over the world celebrated “a life well-lived.” Bob and Mary’s three children and nine grandchildren testified to Bob’s love for Christ, his compassion for the poor, his irrepressible humor and good will, and his passion for his family.
Bob had been involved in the activities and strategic planning of the C.S. Lewis Foundation for over ten years. Bob first attended Oxbridge ’98, following which he and Mary participated in many events of the Foundation. Bob was for several years a strong member of the Steering Committee for the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Faculty Forum, a program dedicated to networking and supporting Christian faculty and administrators in advancing the renewal of Christian thought and creative expression throughout the world of learning.
Bob had a remarkable career in Christian ministry. After completing his baccalaureate degree at Bryan College and subsequent flight training, Bob joined Missionary Aviation Fellowship in 1959 and actively flew in support of Christian missions in Brazil and Ecuador for several years. He then served in leadership positions in the MAF home office for several years. After a few years in the business world, Bob returned to non-profit leadership, in 1984 becoming the Founding President of Air Serv International, a humanitarian MAF spin-off organization providing in-country light aircraft transport services for the international relief and development community in remote famine/civil war stricken areas in Africa. He retired from Air Serv in 1994 and obtained his Master’s degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University. He taught International Relations at Concordia University, Irvine and Vanguard University, Costa Mesa.
In addition to his volunteer work with the C.S. Lewis Foundation, Bob was active in his church and in local community service organizations aimed at helping the poor and disenfranchised. He was also an active mentor and counselor to many in service and Christian ministry. Indeed, the C.S. Lewis Foundation was a major beneficiary of his wealth of wisdom and vision. We pray God’s mercies and blessings upon Mary, Bob’s children, and his grandchildren during these difficult days.
One thought on “We Note with Sorrow the Passing of Bob Lehnhart”
The first C.S. Lewis Foundation event I attended was the Faculty Forum at UCLA. Being from Kansas and a long way from home, I was paired up with Bob for supper. His kindness and jovial spirit made me know I had made a friend. I’ve never forgotten how good he made a stranger feel and I knew I was right at home. May God comfort and bless his family.
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