Born January 6, 1936 in Brazil, and raised in the Argentine jungle, â€œTomâ€ became a Bible Scholar in his fatherâ€™s Lutheran Seminary. At age 18, Tomâ€™s sister Monica brought him to the U.S. Intending to join the Navy, but speaking only German and Spanish, he mistakenly joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in places such as Okinawa, Japan, where a fellow Marine introduced him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized in the East China Sea. After military service, he worked at Thiokol and attended Utah State University.
There he met his future wife, Ruth Benson, the lovely instructor of his French class. Tom and Ruth had six children as he completed college and began a long and distinguished career as an Engineer at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, working on the design and testing of forward model vehicles.
Tom used his expertise to help any who needed it, often at his own expense. Just before Christmas in 1987, the family home caught fire. Being noble in character, Tom risked his life and courageously ran back up to the second floor of the burning home to save his young son Eugene.
He later retired, moved to Utah, and fulfilled his childhood dream of driving semi-trailer trucks. In 1994 he suffered the heartbreak of losing his son Edwin, who died in a drowning accident shortly after returning from an LDS Mission.
Tom served diligently in the Church and exemplified principles of Charity and Service. Tom was known for his love of classical music, a willingness to serve and work hard, and for being handy with all things mechanical. He passed away June 11, 2011 at age 75, due to a heart attack. He will be dearly missed by his wife, Ruth Lehenbauer and surviving children, Ernest (Kuwait), Eric (Utah), Elizabeth Guanuna (Utah), Eugene (Florida), and Ellen Harris (Utah). He is happily reunited with his son Edwin, and parents Helena and Albert Lehenbauer.
A viewing will be held on Friday, June 17, 2011 beginning at 9:30 AM, followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. in the LDS Chapel at 325 Lauralin Drive in Logan, Utah. Condolences may be sent to the family at Allen Mortuaries.