Goodbye to a Giant–Syd Lehman Passed Away Yesterday
Diane and Syd Lehman
Syd Lehman left SoHum yesterday. We won’t see him in a grocery store or walking down our streets. He won’t be helping run a fundraiser or enveloping us in one of his huge hugs anymore. He passed away yesterday after a long bout with cancer. He’s been a part of us, a part of SoHum, for at least the fifty years that I remember. As a child, my first memory of him was of how very very long his legs were. I thought he was giant. And, he was. He had a giant’s heart. He had a giant smile. He had a giant’s booming laugh and he had a giant impact on this community.
For many years he was the giant heart of the Benbow Inn. Later, his insurance business was more than a business, it had a giant influence on our community. Kim Sallaway, local photographer and the one who snapped the photo above, says,
I met Syd Lehman more than 30 years ago. He was once my insurance agent. He refused to sell me a policy because I was getting too many tickets. My motorcycle was just too fast for the CHP to ignore. Sid told me I needed to straighten up and he was just the man to say it to me. I haven’t had a speeding ticket in a very long time. What I did have was a grandfather type friend who knew me, knew my community, and knew how to show by example, the right old school way to act as a man and a human being. I learned to appreciate his contributions, his wisdom, and his kindness.
Syd spent a tremendous amount of time volunteering in our community. He worked tirelessly for years on various projects and fundraisers and all of those together made our towns better places but it is through his warmth and his laughter and his giant giant hugs that I will remember him most. Bye, Syd. I’ll miss you. You were a giant-hearted man.