Eugene “Gene” V. Lehto, 66 of Gilsum and formerly of Swanzey and Sterling, MA. died on Sunday, August 15, 2021, at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. He passed peacefully after a period of declining health.
Eugene was born the son of the late Miriam S. (Ojala) and Eugene G. Lehto on December 6, 1954, in Holden, MA. He attended Wachusett Regional High School and graduated from Monadnock Regional High School class of 1972.
Gene was a patriot. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1972 after high school where he was trained as a cook. Gene was honorably discharged in 1976.
He was formerly married to Robin Hollister. She has two children, Paula and Jarrod, who Gene accepted as his own.
Gene was employed by Cheshire Oil Co, in Keene as a manager of the local laundromat for three years before his retirement in 2018. Prior, he had worked for Tri Keenan Tile Co. in Swanzey as a tile maker and glazer. His passion was cooking. He worked at the National Grange Insurance Co. as a cook for a time and also worked at the Maine Maritime Academy as a cook, where he had the opportunity to cook aboard the USS Maine on a summer training cruise, passing through Spain and all the way to Russia and back. He also cooked on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico for a few years.
Gene was a man of nature and the great outdoors, where he could be found sitting with friends around a campfire and often cooking for them. He enjoyed hiking the region’s trails and was the happiest being at his little cabin in the woods. He enjoyed playing darts in the local dart leagues, including the American Legion Dart League in Gardner, MA. He loved music, especially the Grateful Dead, and spending time with family and friends.
Mr. Lehto is survived by his son, George A. Lehto of Gilsum. His two sisters and their spouses, Linda E. Lamothe and her husband, James of Swanzey, and Georgia R. Krivulka and her husband, Thomas of Norwalk, CT. In addition, he is survived by: cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Gene is predeceased by his sister, Eileen J. Lehto in 1955.
In keeping with Gene’s wishes, there are no calling hours. A celebration of life service will be held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 4 pm. in the First Congregational Church, 679 Old Homestead Highway, Swanzey, NH. 03446. Burial will take place later. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in memory of Eugene V. Lehto to:
The First Congregational Church in Swanzey, or
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
130 Summit Rd.
Keene, NH. 03431.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Home and Crematories, 46 S. Winchester St. Swanzey, NH. 03446. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com