BENKELMAN -- Lee Ohrman was born Jan. 10, 1928, in LaVeta, Colo., to George and Orpha (Richards) Ohrman and spent his early childhood growing up on a farm near Goodland, Kan. He later moved to Stratton, Colo., where he attended school.
Lee moved to Colby, Kan., where he had many jobs including trucking, farming and raising sheep.
After receiving his discharge, Lee and Mary Lou moved to Oberlin where Lee drove truck for a short time. They later moved to Oakley, Kan., where Lee managed the 5th Wheel Service Station. A short time later he decided to start his own trucking business.
Lee often made livestock deliveries to the Benkelman area and became acquainted with the sale barn owner, Andy Anderson, and a cattle buyer by the name of Buss Krutsinger. They both encouraged Lee to move to Benkelman, and in 1968 Lee and Mary Lou moved to Benkelman with their family, one truck and a leased cattle trailer. Diesel at that time was 25 cents a gallon.
Lee drove for 10 years before a stroke behind one eye forced him to retire from driving, but that wasn't the end of Lee Ohrman Trucking. He and his family, all of whom worked in the business, grew Lee's one truck and leased trailer into a fleet of 24 trucks and provided outstanding service to their customers in the tri-state area.
Around 1985, Lee took an interest in horse racing and breeding thoroughbreds. Through the years he owned several race horses and raced in California, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota and Arkansas.
In 1990, Lee was diagnosed with cancer. As a result he developed several serious medical conditions which left him unable to enjoy all the fun things he would have liked to have done.
With a shortage of drivers, Lee and his family decided it was time for a change. Lee decided it was time for him to retire, and in 2006 he sold his trucks and equipment, ending more than 30 years of service in the trucking industry.
On Aug. 24, 2008, Lee was baptized into the Baptist faith accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, and became a member of Trinity Baptist Church.
Lee loved his family -- especially his grandchildren. He enjoyed having his family involved in the business and would often comment how blessed he was to have his family near him. Lee was also well-liked and deeply respected by not only by his customers, but his employees as well.
On Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, Lee lost his long battle with cancer and passed away at his home in Benkelman where he was surrounded by his loving family. He will be deeply missed by not only his family, but by his many friends and neighbors.
Lee is preceded in death by his parents, George and Orpha Ohrman; and one brother, Bob Ohrman.
Survivors include his loving wife of more than 63 years, Mary Lou Orhman of Benkelman; daughter, Sherry Hanes and husband, Tim of Max; sons, Mike Ohrman and wife, Toni, John Ohrman and wife, Jane, and Nicholas Ohrman, all of Benkelman; one sister, Lola Grammol of Stratton, Colo.; five grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and numerous other relatives and friends.
Mr. Ohrman will lie in state at Forch Funeral Chapel in Benkelman on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. (MDT) at the Trinity Baptist Church in Benkelman. Interment will follow services at the Benkelman Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.