Harold E. Lechner, 86

Published 7:09 am Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Harold E. Lechner, 86, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away Friday, June 15, 2018, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Home in Austin.

Harold E. Lechner, 86

Harold Edward was born on June 7, 1932, at home in Freeborn, Minnesota, to George and Cora (Peterson) Lechner. Harold attended Austin schools through the ninth grade, then began working as a farm hand for Bill Lyle. In 1957, Harold married Lucille Olson at Oakland Lutheran Church. Harold entered military service in the U.S. Army on Nov. 20, 1957. He was stationed at Ft. Bliss Army Base in El Paso, Texas, for 14 months. It was there that Harold met another Army recruit by the name of Elvis Presley and had the opportunity to visit with Elvis during Elvis’s two weeks on the base. Harold was later stationed at Ft. Chaffee Maneuver Training Center in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. He then moved to Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, where he was honorably discharged from his military service on Jan. 21, 1959, and returned home to be with Lucille. The couple was together for 25 years and had one daughter, Brenda. They later divorced. When he returned home, he began driving a semi for Red Owl. He was able to rent farmland began farming. Harold later drove semis for Jensen’s Transport, then Barry Jacobson Trucking in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Harold had an opportunity to move into his mother’s house in Oakland, Minnesota, and continue to farm. In 1982, he quit farming and resumed his trucking career until his retirement. During his retirement, Harold worked in maintenance at the Cedars of Austin. He enjoyed collecting John Deere tractors and showing his tractors at the Mower County Fair. Harold was a longtime member of Oakland Lutheran Church and a member of the Austin Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 703. He also enjoyed showing his 1955 and 1968 Ford Mustangs.

Harold is survived by his daughter, Brenda (Louis) Schilman of Le Sueur, Minnesota; companion, Arlene Vanek of Glenville, Minnesota; grandchildren, Lucretia (Lio Anchondo) Wilder and Shane Schilman; great-grandchildren, Bailey, Mercedes, Madison and Meyah; step-great-grandchildren, Gavin and Joanna; sister-in-law, Marlene Lechner of Austin; former sister-in-law, Marjorie Stonecypher; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Cora Lechner; brothers, Dean Lechner and Earl (Beverly) Lechner; and sister, Joyce Zech.

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Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Oakland Lutheran Church with the Rev. Waldemar Gies officiating. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, June 22, 2018, at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin and will continue for one hour prior to services on Saturday at the church. Interment will be at the Oakland Lutheran Cemetery. Memorials preferred to Oakland Lutheran Church or donor’s choice. Services prearranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com.