Guenther Walter Lerch, age 83, passed away on May 6th at The Villages Regional Hospital from heart failure.Guenther was born on September 12, 1935 in Znaim, Czechoslovakia to Anton and Maria Lerch.
He grew up in Vienna Austria and immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1954 where he was promptly drafted into the US Army and sent back to Germany. He says his main job was to negotiate in German with the local business/pub owners when the US GIs got in trouble. Upon discharge from the Army, Guenther enrolled in the University of Maryland where he earned his BS degree in Civil Engineering followed by a Masters degree from Catholic University. He was employed by the Federal Highway Administration for 30 years, working in many field, regional, and headquarters operations. After retirement in 1990, he continued consulting and teaching highway work zone safety courses until his full retirement in 2009.
Guenther was an avid tennis player and pursued that sport until age 80. He was also a wonderful skier and loved sailing. He was a kind and gentle man adored by his family and respected by his many friends and colleagues.
He leaves to mourn his passing his devoted companion of 31 years, Nancy Watson, The Villages, FL. He is survived by his loving daughters Diane (George) DeLanoy and Sandi Cotter, grandchildren John (Lindsey) DeLanoy, William (Emma) DeLanoy, Jason (Bailey) Marcil, and Kristina Zimmermann and great-grandsons Ronan and Griffin DeLanoy. He was predeceased by his son, John A. Lerch.
Per his wishes, no formal memorial service will be held. His ashes will be scattered at sea at a later date. Donations in his memory can be made to the charity of your choice.