Remembering Bill Lahman, former CH city manager
To the Editor:
Cleveland Heights lost a longtime resident at the beginning of February—William C. Lahman. He had been city manager from 1964 to 1975. I first heard of Bill when our family moved here in 1965; I didn't meet him then, but felt that he was an excellent city manager. He left to become secretary-treasurer of RTA and, in 1981, became its general manager. When he retired in 1985, I still had not met him but, because I was a regular RTA rider, I was aware of some of his accomplishments.
Sometime after his wife, B.J., retired from teaching, she became a member of the Embroiderers' Guild of Greater Cleveland, an organization in which I was quite active. Those of us in a small stitching group invited her to join us. When she hosted us at her home, I finally got to meet Bill! He was soft-spoken and willing to share his knowledge of various subjects. I thought of him as a kind gentleman, and over the years I got to know more about him.
B.J. would tell us about going to SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) reunions and about Bill's editing a newsletter for the alumni. SHAEF was General Eisenhower's headquarters for the cross-channel invasion of Europe in World War II.
Bill had been one of the young, intelligent college men chosen by Eisenhower. In 1943, his ability to type was likely instrumental in his being assigned to SHAEF Headquarters Command, where he was assigned to process large numbers of soldiers returning home from Europe.
On a lighter note, occasionally I got to enjoy the delicious produce from the family farm located in the Bucyrus, Ohio area, as well as from the garden in the Lahman backyard. (Sometimes squirrels and rabbits also treated themselves to the goodies in there!)
Bill and B.J. were longtime subscribers to the Cleveland Orchestra. He was a voracious reader, concentrating on books about Eisenhower and WWII in Europe. Following retirement he was a consultant for independent investments and property management.
In a way, he was a Renaissance man. I shall miss his answering the phone when I call B.J. I am sure that there are many in Cleveland Heights who will remember him and his part in our city's history.