Lehmiers will be memorialized at bell dedication

By on April 8, 2015

On Sunday, April 26, two people who lived for the betterment of the Lititz community and its youth will be remembered in a special ceremony. Tom and Mary Lehmier, who died in 2013 and 2010 respectively, will be honored at the J. Edward Mack Scout Reservation with the blessing and dedication of the “Lehmier Bell.”

The bell belonged to the original St. James Catholic Church in Lititz where Tom and Mary were members. Tom and a group of men from the church removed the bell and transported it for the new church, but it was never used. Upon Tom’s death, the parishioners of the church and Boy Scout Troop 142 — which was founded by Tom in 1967 and meets at the church — donated the bell to the J. Edward Mack Scout Reservation in the Lehmiers’ memory. The formerly rusted and deteriorated 4½ foot by 3½ foot church bell weighing 2,500 pounds has now been refurbished to a gleaming burgundy, as close as possible to the red color of the Boy Scouts, which Tom so dearly loved, having served the organization for 77 years.

It is fitting that the Lehmier memorial should be installed at Camp Mack as the camp was built and developed largely through the efforts of Tom in his professional role as the PA Dutch Council Scout Executive. In continued service to the local Boy Scout Camps, Tom served for many years on the Inner Council of the local Throwing Bull Tribe. In 1994, Tom was awarded the PA Dutch Council BSA Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to youth in Lancaster and Lebanon counties and in 2010 was inducted into the PA Dutch Council 100th Anniversary Hall of Leadership.

An Eagle Scout, himself, Tom served as Scoutmaster for 25 years and Scoutmaster Emeritus of Troop 142 Lititz, joyfully witnessing 120 Scouts in Troop 142 attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

In conjunction with nationally recognized leadership experts, Tom was a pioneer in the development of the Wood Badge training course and served on 18 courses nationwide. He served on the staff of four National Scout Jamborees and was an inductee into the Boy Scouts of America National Hall of Leadership. He was a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association.

Locally, in honor of his seven-plus decades of Scouting, Tom was named the Grand Marshall of the Lititz Fourth of July Parade in 2010 and received the Lancaster New Era Red Rose Award that same year.

Married for 60 years, faith played a large part in the lives of the Lehmiers, both in Scouting and as very active members of St. James Catholic Church. Tom served three terms as chair of the Harrisburg Diocese Catholic Committee on Scouting. At St. James Church, he served on two building committees and 14 years on parish council, including two terms as its chair. For many years he was a catechist and in charge of the lector and altar server programs.

Mary served as the president and member of the Legion of Mary, was a volunteer organist for 40 years at the church, and a member of the Silver Liners. She spent much of her time praying and reading about her faith, as it was the focal point of her life.

All are invited to the blessing and dedication of the Lehmier Bell, to be held Sunday, April 26, at 2:30 p.m. at J. Edward Mack Scout Reservation in the Throwing Bull Tribe Memorial Garden, 2 Scout Lane, Newmanstown. Following the one-hour program, light refreshments will be served.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to contact Kevin Neiles at 598-5250 or KMNeiles@yahoo.com to ensure there is enough food for everyone.

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