Billings Gazette Norbert is son of Emil Benjamin Henry Lehenbauer the son of Godfried J. Lehenbauer the son of George that came to U.S. from Oettingen,Germany in 1854
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On Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009, we lost our beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, Ramona Lavon Greger Lehenbauer 70, to complications of her long illness with TTP. She was born Oct. 21, 1938, to the late R.H. and Rose Greger. She was one of four siblings.
After graduating from Bridger High school in 1957, she went to Eastern Montana College to pursue a teaching career. She paid for school by working as a live-in housekeeper and babysitter. She received a two-year teaching certificate and was employed by the Billings School District at Rimrock Elementary School where she taught second grade.
She met her husband Norbert Lehenbauer while she was the president of the youth group and sang in the choir at Trinity Lutheran Church. Norbert moved to Billings to be a student pastor for one year and part of his duty was with the youth group. They saw each other often at church where they both enjoyed serving the Lord. They were married July 5, 1959, and honeymooned through Yellowstone National Park.
Ramona moved to St. Louis with Norbert so that he could finish his studies. While they lived there, Ramona had to find a job to support them and she found it in Overland, Mo. again teaching second grade. In order for her to get to her new job, Norbert had to teach her how to drive since she had never learned. She successfully passed her test with some good coaching from Norbert. After Norbert graduated from the seminary, they moved to Downs, Kan., where Norbert was pastor of his first church.
While living in Downs, Ramona gave birth to her first child, Janet. Two years later they were blessed with their second girl, Susan. After living in Downs for three years, Norbert was called to a congregation in Kinsley, Kan., where she eagerly started a new chapter in her life. Ramona, needing to finish her degree in college to get a teaching job, packed up the girls in the fall 1964 and moved back to Billings. She and the girls lived with her folks as she finished her degree. After receiving her B.S. in education that fall, she rejoined Norbert in Kinsley. Back in Kinsley, Ramona was blessed with two more children. Steven followed by Mona. Both were born in Dodge City, Kan.
Wanting to get closer to her home in Montana, Norbert was called to serve in Wolf Point in 1967. She taught second grade for a year and then fifth grade for five more years while she was in Wolf Point. While living in Wolf Point, Ramona and Norbert bought 40 acres of land east of Laurel, where they started a Christmas tree farm. They spent several years camping out on their new farm taking care of the trees.
Wanting to get closer to Billings and their new farm, Norbert was called to serve at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Park City. While in Park City, Ramona started teaching Title One classes in Laurel and Park City. In 1975 Ramona took a job at Ponderosa Elementary School where she continued her love of teaching Title One.
Norbert and Ramona moved back to Billings in 1976. While teaching, Ramona continued her education and received a master's degree in elementary education in 1977 from Eastern Montana College. After getting her master's degree, she took what she thought at the time was her dream job as Title One Supervisor for the Billings Public Schools. In 1989, Ramona really found her dream job when she was hired by HOSTS (Help One Student To Succeed) to represent their reading program. In this job she was able to do both things she loved, travel and teach. She traveled the U.S. representing her job, making lots of new friends, and enjoying her life like no other time.
In 1978 Ramona helped Norbert realize his dream of opening a nursery. They purchased 3.5 acres of land at the end of Broadwater Avenue and opened Sylvan Nursery. Ramona worked at the nursery in the early days to help get it going. She always worked tirelessly, supporting Norbert in the those early years to keep Sylvan Nursery going.
In June 1990, Ramona was diagnosed with, Thrombotic Thrombotcytopenic Purpura or TTP. As a result of her illness, Ramona had to retire from her teaching career and spent the rest of her days in and out of the hospital. She was a fighter and always surprised her doctors and family with her resilience.
Ramona enjoyed spending time at the family cabin in Cooke City with her family. She loved to see her grandchildren and always made sure they were doing well in school and making sure they were being brought up in the Christian faith.
We will all miss our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, colleague, and friend. We take comfort in knowing she is in her Lord's hands. God bless you, we will all miss you greatly.
Ramona was preceded in death by her parents, R.H. and Rose Greger, her brother Ron Greger, and her sister Rita (Greger) Taylor.
She is survived by her husband, Norbert C. Lehenbauer; her brother, Ray Greger; and her four children, Janet (Rich) Hutton, Susan (Andy) Swartz, Steven (Chris) Lehenbauer and Mona (Mike) Howey. She also leaves behind her nine loving grandchildren, Kacie and Kory Hutton, Bailey, Sadie, Mollie and Lizzie Lehenbauer, Noah, Nolan and Logan Howey.
Funeral services will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 537 Grand Ave., on Friday, Sept. 11, at 10:30 a.m. Donations may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church or a charity of choice.
Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10, from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The family will greet family and friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visitation will be at Smith Funeral Chapel, 304 34th St. W.
Arrangements are being handled by Smith Funeral Chapel on the West End.
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