The Passing of an Industry Icon
Mr. Gerhard Adam Lengemann, age 77, born December 31, 1932 in Dissen, Germany, passed away Thursday, October 14, 2010. He began his apprenticeship at the age of 14 as a precision mechanic for optical instruments. This was the beginning of his lifelong involvement with surveying instruments. Growing up in a war torn Germany and experiencing the later difficult economic times, Gerhard and his wife, Hannelore, decided to leave Germany for a better future. He moved his family first to Canada in 1958 and then to Michigan in 1962, where he started his own business, G Lengemann Co in Niles, Michigan. Tiring of the cold Michigan winters, he brought his family to Altoona, Florida in 1975 and started Lengemann of Florida, Inc. He was a loving man who believed family was the most important thing in life. Gerhard truly lived the “American Dream” and was most proud of his citizenship and new country. He is an inspiration to us all and will always be remembered for his generosity, wisdom and humor. Gerhard was predeceased by a daughter, Angelika Lengemann and a son, Michael Lengemann.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Hannelore Lengemann of Altoona, FL; daughter: Susan (Robert) Croft of Umatilla, FL; son: Ralph (Elke) Lengemann of Umatilla, FL; daughter: Heidi Estes of Atlanta, GA; nephew: Guenter (Barbara) Lengemann of Umatilla, FL; grandchildren: Melissa and Robert Croft, Stephanie, Andrea, and Paul Lengemann, Amber and Bradley Estes, and great granddaughter, Hannah Hopkins.
Funeral services will be held 11:30 a.m., Saturday, October 23, 2010 at the First United Methodist Church of Umatilla. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, October 22, 2010 at the Beyers Funeral Home, Umatilla. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the Florida Society of Surveyors and Mappers, 1689-A Mahan Center Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32308-5454 for the Gerhard Lengemann Scholarship. On-line condolences may be made at www.beyersfuneralhome.com. Beyers Funeral Home, Umatilla.
Randy Noland at MachineControlOnline posted this video. Comments by Roger Croft and footage produced by Topcon:
Gerhard Lengemann was a man of outstanding character, the ability to do things the right way; he often reminded us that there is no right way to do something wrong. Gerhard’s moral compass always steered he and his company in the right direction.
Most competitive people always strive to be the best that they can be, Gerhard was no exception. Gerhard excelled at being a husband, father, uncle, and grandfather. His precision optical skills were unparalleled in the industry; Gerhard often repaired vintage surveying instruments from all over the world where most of the replacement parts were fabricated by Gerhard in his shop. Gerhard grew a company out of a basement in Niles, Michigan to one of the most successful precision product suppliers in the world; and this was all done with honesty and integrity. Because of this Topcon Positioning Systems honored Gerhard with their Spirit of Excellence Award in 2004 recognizing his lifelong accomplishments to the industries he served.
Gerhard was loved by his family, friends, employees, customers, vendors, as well as, his competitors. The industry has lost an icon, all of us have lost our mentor, and the Lengemann family has lost their Opa.