Anna Maria Doeppner Lechner
Anna “Annie” Maria Lechner age 96, of Erie, passed away on Thursday, June 18, 2020 at UPMC Hamot.
Born on March 24, 1924 in Fulda, Germany, a daughter of the late Klemens Ferdinand & Therese (Hoffman) Doeppner, who resided in Germany.
Annie and her family experienced the worst of the war in Germany. She and her family covered the house and windows at night to avoid bombing from both German and Allied Forces. Her sister, Lena, was wounded by shrapnel.
During the last days of the war, the German Army took her father as per Hitler’s direction to gather boys and older men. She remembers crying while running after him as the truck drove away. Days later, when the war ended, her father returned home safely.
Annie moved to the US in the early 1950’s with her first born son, Charlie. Her other two children, Norb and Theresa were born in the US. She learned English on her own and became a US citizen as soon as possible.
Annie retired from Erie County Geriatric Center (currently Pleasant Ridge Fairview) after 25 years of service. She worked in Occupational Therapy and as Activities Director. Annie treated her patients like family, often bringing them home for meals with her family on the weekends.
Annie has a sincere kindness and was happiest when helping and serving others. She was the ultimate care-giver-nicknamed “Angel of Mercy”. She was also a member of St. Julia’s Church.
After her retirement, she continued to care for residents of Sara Reed volunteering to drive them to/from doctor’s appointments, hair appointments, etc., usually taking them for lunch during their outing.
In addition to her parents, Annie was preceded in death by her husband, Norbert C. “Jake” Lechner, whom she married on September 18, 1947. Norb met Annie while serving in Germany during WWII. She was one of four beautiful daughters, and Norb spoke fluent German. They fell in love during the war – when it was not allowed for American service men to marry German citizens. They were married three times. Once in the “underground” church in Germany, again by the German government and officially approved by the US Military in 1947. Two sisters, Elfrieda Mehler and Rosel Miller, who died in Germany in 2013 and August 2015 respectively , also Marilyn P. Lechner beloved daughter in law and wife of son, Norbert Paul Lechner preceded her.
She is survived by one sister, Lena Arnold, of Erie; three children, Charles Clemens Lechner and wife Sharon of Erie. Charlie was a Millcreek Police Officer until his retirement after over 30 years of service. Her son Norbert Paul Lechner of Erie, served as Annie’s main caregiver. She is also survived by one daughter, Theresa Marie Gerrety and her husband, Kevin, of Gulf Breeze, FL.
Annie is survived by six grandchildren; Bryan, Michael and Erika Lechner, Annie Gerrety Jackson and husband Alan, Paul Gerrety and wife Suzanne, and Alicia Johnson and her husband Tony. She is further survived by 5 great grandchildren, Mayla, Max, Sophie, Lula and Deeter.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, services were held private at the convenience of the family by the Burton Quinn Scott Cremation & Funeral Services at West Ridge, 3801 W. 26th Street, Erie, PA 16506.
Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Manchester Commons, 6351 W. Lake Road, Erie, PA 16505 or St. Patrick Church, 130 E. 4th Street, Erie, PA 16507.
Send condolences at www.Burtonfuneralhome.com