Remembering Audra Lehmann

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Audra at her grandson Erik’s wedding. Photo from Mike Dunn Photography.

She was a daughter, wife, mother, crash survivor, widow, pastor’s wife, and Wartburg alum to name just a few things.

To me, she was a godmother and grandmother.

Audra Lehmann left this earth early Friday morning, January 18th, 2013 to be with the lord. Her time on this earth is done. Her fight complete. Time for eternal salvation and rest.

With her husband, Bob, at her side, she breathed her last.

Audra was known by many, so many in fact, I don’t think it is possible to begin to know the exact number. She had more ‘friends’ than Facebook would allow. She influenced students as a teacher and walked with others as the wife a Lutheran minister.

She married Robert Lehmann shortly before my birth. Bob had married my paternal grandmother, Dorothy. After she succumbed to cancer, Bob later met Audra and they were married. So, technically a ‘step’ grandmother, but I knew no other. She was there at my baptism and stood by me so many other times in my life.

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Audra was a young Levi.

One of the greatest gifts I had with her was my time at Wartburg College as she and Bob were both alumni. They were always there at Homecoming, Christmas with Wartburg concerts and other ‘Be Orange’ events. I got to see her often and feel a big hug when they came to campus. Even during my Castle Singers years, we did a concert at their church in Dubuque, which was special for me. She had two colors in her closest, orange and purple.

She recently said “why do we fight so hard to cling to this life?” She had been in the hospital for almost a month recovering from cancer surgery and most recently a heart attack, so she’d had time to reflect on the physical life. Audra also survived a crash decades ago that killed her first husband and daughter. She would spend months in the hospital recovering. She knew the fight to cling to life.

Now, she’s free from fighting and is reunited with her family as she waits for the rest of us to follow.

God bless her and peace to those who knew her.

What is your Audra story? I want to know more about how you knew her and the life she led.

I’ve been able to connect with one former parishioner from Ottumwa who now is in Ankeny. We’ve been able to share stories from that chapter of her life.  What is yours?

Please leave a comment below.

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12 thoughts on “Remembering Audra Lehmann

  1. My parents have known the Lehmann’s since their time at Wartburg College. Bob came to Dubuque as an outreach minister at my church – Holy Trinity Lutheran – in part due to my parent’s efforts. So I’ve known them both for many years and enjoyed seeing them on Wartburg’s campus for various events. I’m sorry to hear of Audra’s passing, Paul, and honestly had no idea of your connection to her. My condolences to you and your family. ~Tom

  2. Audra was filled with the new wine of Christ! My wife Kathy and I are humbled to have known Audra in our lives! She is a beacon of Gods light!

    1. I wanted to expand my comments as you have asked Paul, for stories of how we met Audra. Well, my wife and I were leavign Sheboygan Wisocnin to head to Wartburg Seminary. A pastor we knew in Sheboygan, Paul Baumann tlod us that his aunt (Audra) were moving to Dubuque at the same time we were to arrive at Wartburg Seminary. He told us to please look her and her husboand Bob up when we got there. We said we would, but frankly I was not sure if that would ever happen. Well, we moved into housing at the seminary (which is no longer there) across the street from the seminary. I beleive Bob was coming to Dubuque to become a part time visitation pastor at Holy Trinity there. Well, they were looking for temporary accomidations and through their connections at Holy Trinity and Wartburg they ended up moving right into the house next to us the first year they were there! Bob and Audra took us under their wings, as we became members at Holy Trinity as well. They have remined special friends to this day. About 5 years ago my wife Kathy and I renewed our vows in the Wartburg Seminary Chapel, with Bob Presiding and Audra playing music! Just the 4 of us! We will never forget!

  3. We loved Audra. I sat next to Audra for many years in the alto section of St. Paul’s choir. I always sat next to Audra because she could read music, and I couldn’t. She had an amazing voice and so generously helped me learn more about music. I remember spending time at her home and enjoying Pete’s banjo music. Audra was such an inspiration in our lives that we asked her to be our youngest son Brad’s Godmother. I was pleased when she became part of the wonderful Lehmann family. Audra was a blessing to us all, and I miss her.

    1. Your family continues to mean a lot to me, Tom, as it did to Audra. I’m so glad she touched your life, too. Thanks for your comments.

  4. The Wartburg community is so grateful for the gifts of alumni like Audra, and for all the saints now at rest.

    “Eternal rest grant unto Audra, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon Her.”

  5. I/we got to know Audra as one of her pastors while I was on the pastoral staff at St. Paul’s in Waverly from 1968-1976. Bob was three years ahead of me at both Wartburg College and Wartburg Seminary. I knew both of Audra’s sons, Jeff and Peter. Pastor Bud Buchheim and I officiated at Bob and Audra’s wedding; unique in many ways, but noteworthy that it was something like (testing my memory on this one!) 7:11 a.m. on a Saturday 7/11/75 morning! After that time, too, I got to know Bob’s adopted family. We’ve happily kept our friendship with Bob and Audra all of the years since.

    George and Janet Hanusa

  6. Deborah Mansell

    Audra was my aunt, my mother’s eldest sister. I will always remember her energetic spirit, her love of family, her voice, her tender touches. Also, never to be forgotten is her incredible dedication to sending Birthday and Anniversary cards, and the way she wrote a letter each day to someone who sent her and Bob a Christmas card. She went out of her way to remember me and my cousins, sometimes sending a small gift for special events, and always leaving a hostess gift when she came to family gatherings. She was a real gem and I will really miss her a lot.

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