Source: The Oak Ridger | D. Ray Smith and Jim Campbell | September 16, 2020

Joe Lenhard was my next-door neighbor. He often came over to talk to me about some idea he had for a “Historically Speaking” article. I never hesitated to write the articles he recommended because they were always good stories and unusual settings.

The first suggestion he told me about was a fenced in area near the Oak Ridge Country Club, but far back in the woods. He took me there and I remember being concerned for him as we had to cross streams and go through some rough area to get there. I mentioned to Joe that he should be careful. Joe replied, “You worry about yourself young man, I can take care of me must fine.”

When Joe passed away recently, I asked Jim Campbell to honor Joe with a “Historically Speaking” column. I think you will enjoy Jim’s insights into one of Oak Ridge’s legendary community support individuals.


Joe Lenhard never shied away from being a leader.

He did that in his work with the Atomic Energy Commission, now the U.S. Department of Energy. He did that in his retirement working with business groups, the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary, the list goes on. When you needed someone to go, to be there  … Joe was always willing to be there and to use his energy and enthusiasm for this community to do good.

Joe Lenhard passed away Friday, July 11, 2020, at the age of 91.

His family has asked the American Museum of Science and Energy Foundation to continue his legacy by dedicating one of the science classrooms at AMSE in his name. The Foundation is hoping to raise $50,000 is his honor to support the science educational outreach programs in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) arena. Donations will be used to upgrade equipment, develop new content, and delivery mechanisms in the years to come.

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