Terry Franklin Lehnhoff passed on to be with his Lord and was reunited with his precious Donna on Sunday, February 4 th , 2024, at 12:57 am surrounded by his loved ones. He died at his home in Vichy, Missouri at the age of 84 years. He was born July 7, 1939, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Chester and Gladys Lehnhoff.
As a child, Terry loved his family and often visited family in Vienna and Belle. His parents took him to the Terry Baptist Church in Vienna, Missouri where he professed Jesus as his Savior at the age of 11. He met Donna Hoecker in the 8th grade. In his junior year he played the “Beef” to Donna’s “Beauty” in the school musical, “Beauty and the Beef.” He enjoyed playing basketball in high school. He graduated from Pattonville High School 2nd in his class of 1957. He and Donna were “going steady” at age 15, engaged at 16 and married five years later on August 27, 1960.
Terry graduated from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy with a B.S in Mechanical Engineering in 1961 and an M.S to follow in 1962, the same year Mark was born. They moved to Peoria, Illinois where Terry worked as a research engineer for Caterpillar Tractor Co and where Lori was born in 1963. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in 1967. Their third baby died one week before birth in January of 1967 and they were blessed to adopt Stephen that same year. The family moved back to Rolla in 1968 where they were blessed with a fourth child, Hope, in 1972. Terry taught for 32 years at the University of Missouri-Rolla in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (1968-2000) with many wonderful experiences and lasting friendships.
Terry loved God and his family deeply. He greatly valued and appreciated worshipping collectively, most recently at Grace Church, Rolla. He and Donna hosted Bible studies and prayer meetings at their home in Vichy for 50 years. He attended men’s groups and breakfasts frequently. He enjoyed supporting Donna’s passion for gardening, building their home together and planting daffodils together. He loved working with wood and had a rather famous workbench where almost anything could be repaired with enough patience and effort. He enjoyed shooting, traveling with Donna and was a gifted email and letter writer. He also traveled internationally both for business and recreation.
As a parent, Terry prayed daily, read and studied the Bible. He attended every event he could of his children and grandchildren. He was a faithful friend and mentor to many men of all ages. He was a deep thinker and a good listener. Terry worked on additional jobs of interest in his career. He was involved in testing baseballs for Major League Baseball with others from UMR. He worked for Boeing, lengthening and strengthening the bodies of their planes. He studied the feasibility of pressure vessels for nuclear waste storage underground at the Hanford Site in Washington state and he worked as an expert witness for many structural related cases.
Since Donna’s death in 2018, Terry’s health has gradually deteriorated. He is survived by his brother, Michael Lehnhoff (wife Charollet) of Pacific, Missouri, brother, David Lehnhoff of Vichy, Missouri, son, Mark Lehnhoff (wife Sheila Lehnhoff) of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, granddaughters Brianne Gioia (husband Michael Gioia) of Ballwin, Missouri, and Allison Lehnhoff of Spring Hill, Tennessee, daughter, Lori Smith (husband Phil Smith) of Rolla, grandson Seth Freter of Rolla, granddaughter Sage Freter (husband Jake Altabef) of Bayonne, New Jersey, grandson Cory Smith of Rolla, son Stephen Lehnhoff of Lake Wales, Florida, daughter, Hope Hamer (husband Michael Hamer) of Rolla, grandson, Michael Hamer and granddaughter Hannah Hamer, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.
His parents, Chester and Gladys (Terry) Lehnhoff, wife, Donna (Hoecker) Lehnhoff, sister, Mary McCoskey, and his son, Terrell Lehnhoff, preceded him in death. A memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, 2:00 PM at Greentree Christian Church Worship Center, 800 Greentree Rd, Rolla, Missouri. Please send memorial gifts to Christ For India, PO Box 57, Tracyton, Washington 98393. Web address: christforindia.in
When asked a few months back what he wanted in his obituary, Terry quietly responded “I had four wonderful children that loved the Lord and a wonderful wife who led us all. Amen. I lived a wonderful life. That’ll be enough.”