John  Leh II John Leh II

John (Jack) Leh II, son of the late Elizabeth (Keck) Leh and G. Edward Leh, was born on June 2, 1925 at the Baer Hospital at 12th and Walnut Sts. Allentown, PA. For 25 years, he lived in the Lehigh Parkway, for 30 years at 427 Walnut St and recently, he has lived at Luther Crest, a senior community in Allentown. He passed away on February, 11, 2017. He attended Allentown public schools through the seventh grade and then graduated from The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey in 1943. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was inducted into the service in June of 1943. Before D-Day he landed in England in a convoy of 100,000 troops who were to replace the men who were casualties in the invasion of Europe. He was sent to the 82nd Airborne Division where he joined an anti-tank battalion. He made a glider landing 35 miles behind German lines in Holland during Operation Market Garden. He was wounded in the “Battle of the Bulge”, fought in the Rhineland campaign and later made an assault river crossing across the Elbe River where his unit met the Russians. He served in the occupation of Berlin in the fall of 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign medal, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign with 4 bronze stars and 1 bronze arrowhead, the World War Victory medal, Belgium Fourragere and the Netherlands Lanyard. (He was proud of his service to his country and always flew the American flag at his home). After returning to civilian life, he attended Princeton University under the Bill of Rights Act. He joined H. Leh & Co (an Allentown Department Store) in the spring of 1947 he became a partner during Leh’s 100th Anniversary Celebration, and spent 50 years with the store until it closed in 1996 as General Merchandise Manager. On his watch, three branch stores were established—Quakertown, Whitehall Mall and Bethlehem Plaza as well as an operations center in South Allentown. Jack, as he was known to most, was the great grandson of the founder (Henry Leh, Jr.) of H. Leh & Co in 1850, a department store in Allentown which sold the first ready-made clothes in Central-Eastern Pennsylvania. In 1850, Henry started to manufacture boots for the Union Army and ladies shoes for the wholesale trade. In 1950, the store was one of the top 100 department stores in the United States. During his retail career, he was involved in many downtown organizations and affairs; including President of Park and Shop and a board member of the First National Bank. Civically, he was active in the Lehigh Council of the Boy Scouts of America for more than 25 years and was awarded the Silver Beaver, a trustee of the Allentown Public Library, a member of the AHEAD board of directors and President of the Allentown Housing Development Corp. He was also President of the Hospital Central Services Corp. which built the centralized laundry for seven area hospitals, and established the Samuel Miller Blood Center (which he always considered his greatest contribution to his fellow man). Since 1984, he has been a trustee of the Century Fund which was founded by Donald P. Miller. He was a member of St John’s Lutheran Church of Allentown where he was baptized, confirmed and served on the vestry, and was an usher and lector in past years.

Survivors: He was survived by his Wife of 69 years, Marianne C. (Rahn) Leh, daughter of the late Ester (Bower) Rahn and Leon Levan Rahn. They have three children; John, III of Novato, California, William of Fort Lauderdale, FL and Sally Burgoyne of Allentown. They have four grandchildren; Jeffrey, Jacqueline, Andrea and Edward and 3 great grandchildren; Madelyn, Jack and Pierce Leh; He was predeceased by brothers Andrew Keck Leh and David W. Leh.

A service celebrating Jack’s life will be held on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 11 A.M. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 37 South 5th St. Allentown. There are no calling hours. Interment at Fairview Cemetery in Allentown will be private.

Contributions, if desired, may be made to the Luther Crest Benevolent Care Endowment Fund, 800 Hausman Road, Allentown, PA 18104 or the Allentown Public Library, 1210 Hamilton Street Allentown, PA 18102.

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