1930 – 2020
Alfred John Lehtonen, 89, of Navasota, Texas, passed away January 24, 2020. He was born to parents Eva Marie and John Lehtonen, October 10, 1930, in Englewood, New Jersey. Al attended public schools in Bergenfield and received a degree in Political Science and Economics from Rutgers University in 1952. Having served in the ROTC program at Rutgers he also graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
After serving in the Air Force for two years in Bryan, Texas, he married Lucille, the love of his life, in 1954 and remained only to her until her passing in 2014. He was then employed by Phillips Petroleum as a District Sales Representative until 1956 when he enrolled at the University of Texas School of Law. After passing the Texas State Bar Exam in 1959, he began his own private law practice at Redwine & Lehtonen at the Austin Bank Building in Austin, Texas.
In 1969, having proved himself a man of intelligence, honor and integrity in the community he was recommended by the Texas Banker’s Association and received a presidential appointment. As the first administrator of the Office of Interstate Land Sales Registration in Washington, D.C., Al reported directly to Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary George Romney.
He entered corporate life in 1971 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Horizon Corporation in Tucson, Arizona. He then joined Mitchell Energy and Development, Co. in 1982, serving as Executive Vice President over acquisitions and development in Galveston, Texas and Montgomery and San Jacinto Counties. Retiring from corporate life in 1986 he successfully began to invest in commercial real estate properties in College Station, Texas.
Al was not a stranger to giving his time to organizations that he truly believed in. He was a member of Sul Ross Masonic Lodge, St Albans Masonic Lodge, 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, Ben Hur Temple Shrine Member and State Bar Association Member. He was a proud member of the Littlefield Society at The University of Texas. He also gave graciously of his time and expertise by serving on numerous corporate, banking and hospital boards and committees in the College Station area. Al was also a long-time member of Christ United Methodist Church.
Al is survived by his son, Al Lehtonen II and wife Janet and their daughters Alex and Jordan. He is also survived by his daughter Alice Lehtonen of College Station, Texas.
Al was a cherished soul and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. There was nothing he liked better than an interesting conversation, as he had the ability to have an engaging conversation with anyone at any time on any subject. And his stories will not soon be forgotten by those who had the pleasure of hearing them. We have no doubt or question that Al is in the Kingdom of Heaven.