Obituary for Charles A Lechner
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Charles Lechner passed away on September 26, 2019 following a brief illness at the age of 85, surrounded by his family. He and his wife, Ruth, had just celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. Charles was born on September 1, 1934, the tenth of eleven children born to Joseph and Katherine Lechner on their homestead farm in Pompey’s Pillar MT. While attending Huntley Project High School he met Ruth House and they married August 8, 1953. They moved to Billings and had 3 children, Christina, Tim and Stefanie.
He spent his working life in law enforcement, retiring from the Billings Police Department as Captain of Detectives after 20 years. He then became the Chief of Security for 20 years at Montana State University—Billings. He also served as a volunteer or board member for many organizations in the Billings area, including the Youth Court Conference Committee, Billings Retired Police Officers Association, Friends of Pompey’s Pillar, Sage Tower Apartments for Seniors, and many committees at the First Congregational Church, including the daycare center there. Charles and Ruth loved to travel and were able to visit relatives in Germany twice, and they also visited France, China, Hawaii and many major cities in the U.S. Charles, Ruth and her parents Harold and Esther House built a cabin south of Red Lodge in 1955 where the family spent most summer weekends. Charles became a master at fly fishing on Rock Creek. He and Ruth also sang in the choir at First Congregational Church for decades, played bridge and bowled with friends, but most of all he loved being with his family. He was a beloved husband, wonderful and supportive father and is deeply missed.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth, daughter Christina Lechner Goe (Oliver) in Helena, Tim Lechner (Pati) in Billings, and daughter Stefanie Flynn (Bryan) in Helena; six granddaughters: Rebecca Goe (Eric Midtlyng) in Missoula, Carrie Goe Nettleton (Tyler Nettleton) in Billings, Emily Goe in Seattle WA, Mara Lechner Cohn (Aaron) in Tacoma WA, Kali Lohse (Kraig) in Fort Wayne IN, and Jenna Lechner in Portland OR; and 6 great-grandchildren: Sawyer, Anders, Gemma, Reese, Clara and Linnea. He is also survived by his younger brother, Ted Lechner (Patty) in Billings and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial service will be at Smith Chapel on S. 27th Street on November 9, 2019 at 11 a.m. Graveside service the same day at Pleasant View Cemetery in Ballantine, MT following the funeral. Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting: https://smithfuneralchapels.com/ Memorials in lieu of flowers may be sent to: http://www.pompeyspillar.org/donate/