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Alison Lehto

Alison Lehto (Glen)

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020
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Obituary

Oakland—Alison Ragna Lehto, 76, went Home to be with Jesus on the morning of July 23, 2020 after being compassionately cared for in hospice for two weeks. She was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon on August 26, 1943 and raised by her loving parents, Lyle and Alice Glen, along with her younger sister Alyssa. She attended San Diego State University and entered the education field as a teacher. In her early career, she taught English to Vietnamese children whose families had fled to California as refugees. Through her dedication and advocacy, she improved the lives and educational opportunities for these children, which would become the pattern of her life’s work.
She met her husband, Glenn Alan Lehto, at Stallion Oaks Ranch in the Cuyamaca Mountains east of San Diego, where they enjoyed horseback riding, motorcycling, dune buggies, and desert camping. After surviving and recovering from a serious dune buggy accident together, they were married in Las Vegas in 1973. They lived in El Cajon with their dog Rona, and continued to enjoy outdoor recreation in the desert every weekend.
Alison and her husband adventured across America in 1980 on their way from California to Maine, where Glenn had been raised. They settled in West Farmington, where she taught at the University of Maine at Farmington. She then continued her teaching career in the Messalonskee School District, and she and Glenn moved to Oakland. In 1985, their daughter, Glison Angela Lehto Smith, was born, and they enjoyed many blessed years living on one of the Belgrade Lakes surrounded by neighbors and friends. Alison continued to excel in her teaching career, earned her Certificate of Advanced Studies, and made an amazing positive impact in her community.
She greatly enjoyed traveling on occasion with her good friend Claudette, and other members of the Michael Crawford International Fan Association, attending plays and musical events. She always loved being with family, friends, and neighbors, making wonderful memories during fun times at the lake. She taught middle school English for 43 years, until her health challenges forced her to retire in 2012. For her last eight years, she continued to make the most of every day, inspired and encouraged others, and remained positive and thankful as she and her husband dealt with her chronic illness. She always faced her troubles with courage and trust in God.
Alison’s kindness, dedication, and love of learning touched the lives of thousands of her students and colleagues. She especially helped intervene in the lives of troubled students and guided them to the right path with her positivity and gentleness. She was well known for her friendliness, vibrant personality, generosity, and sense of humor, as well as her ability to get into meaningful conversations with complete strangers. She always possessed an unwavering faith in Christ’s love for every person, and gently shared God’s grace with everyone she met. She loved neighborhood and friend get-togethers, traveling, loons, cats and dogs, kayaking, Scrabble, reading, and Mexican food. She also had creative hobbies such as writing children’s alphabet books, making collages, and scrapbooking. She always had a kind word and a listening ear for everyone, and loved God. She will be dearly missed.
She is survived by her loving husband of 47 years, Glenn Alan Lehto, who was her sole caregiver for her long illness. She is also survived by her step-son, Bruce Lehto; daughter, Glison Angela Lehto Smith and husband Sam; her brother-in-law Larry Lehto, wife Norma, and daughter Morgan.
There will be a simple graveside ceremony for close family only. There may be a large-event Celebration of Life at a later date, pending lifting of pandemic restrictions. In lieu of flowers, Alison would like you to treat yourself and your loved ones to a nice meal. She would also like to share her favorite Bible verse, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
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Wendy Randall

Posted at 09:22pm
Mrs. Lehto was my English teacher back in 1983-84.The thing I remember most about her was her infectious smile. Although at the time I didn't realize Alison was a Christian, it is evident that her love for Christ shined through to all the students who had the privilege to sit under her teaching. My deepest sympathies to the family. How wonderful to be assured that she is now in Heaven and no longer in pain.

Rebecca Thompson

Posted at 06:02pm
Mrs. Lehto was my seventh grade English teacher. She was always so supportive, kind, caring, she always went the extra mile for every single one of her students. She found out I liked to write and she encouraged me everyday. I am so glad to hear of her relationship with Jesus Christ. The journey she's on now will be filled with the rewards of a life lived right before God and others. I'm so proud to have known her and studied under her. Thank you for so much Mrs. Lehto. I can't wait to see you again one day.
JC

Jen Cyr

Posted at 12:52pm
Alison was my JR. High teacher and also a friend. She always knew how to comfort me after my Dad passed 5 years ago. I have learned so much from her and have always had the utmost respect for her. You will be missed Alison, you are one special lady❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
KM

Kelly Mcavoy

Posted at 11:21am
Alison was my teacher, mentor, and friend. I was lucky enough to teach with her and I admire her dedication to her students and family and her love for humans. She will be sincerely missed by many people.

Mike Denis

Posted at 09:44am
I taught with Alison for a number of years, first in the same building, then on the same team. We coordinated English, literature, and US history constantly, and worked to provide a great learning experience for our students. Alison truly loved those in greatest need, and worked to help them along to success. Her love and kindness radiated from her in all directions all the time. She was the epitome of a "good Christian woman." There aren't many like her any more, and I know the Messalonskee School District and its students missed her when she retired. Plus I always found it ironic that her maiden name was "Glen" and she married "Glenn". My full sympathies to Glenn and Glison -- as long as you remember her in your mind, she will live in your hearts.
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