Erma Yoder Lehman, 91, of Newport News, Va., died in her home April 1, 2021. She was born July 28, 1929, to Harvey and Alta (Kennel) Yoder in Newport News.
She married Paul Lehman of Harrisonburg on June 25, 1949. Together they were actively involved in raising their young family, in their growing church on Huntington Avenue, and as owners of a Christian bookstore in downtown Newport News. From 1964 to 1973, she and Paul served as dorm parents at Good Shepherd School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They returned to Africa in 1980 as host couple at the Mennonite Guest House in Nairobi, Kenya, and stayed until 1991. Fulfilling a longtime dream of hers, she and Paul bought a house overlooking the Warwick River and lived there in active retirement for almost 30 years.
She had a gift for connecting with people and is remembered as a caring and supportive listener. She was a person of prayer and devotion to God. Her dorm boys were precious to her, and to this day there are many who consider “Mrs. Lehman” a special mom. Her gift of hospitality was well known, and more than anything, she loved a table full of people in her home sharing a meal together.
Survivors include two children, Wayne (Sheryl) Lehman and Lewi/Lois (Clayton) Blosser; two sisters, Sarah Marie Weaver and Twila Brunk; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, Paul, in December 2020; and by two brothers, John David and Chris Yoder.