Soccer | August 19, 2022

Steven Mark Lehmer, former USC football and track and field player, died in Roseville, Calif., on July 14. He was 74 years old.

Lehmer, a three-year offensive guard for the Trojan football team (1967-69), played on the 1967 national championship team and in two Rose Bowls. He was the 1967 team’s only sophomore starter and earned three All-West Coast honors.

He also earned two letters with the Trojans track team as a left-handed discus thrower. He was a member of USC’s national champion track and field teams in 1967 and 1968. His best discus throw of 171-0.50 in 1968 was second among all Trojan throwers.

Lehmer was born March 6, 1948, in Pomona, California, and competed in a variety of things growing up. At one time, he was an Orange County Yo-Yo Champion, Model Car Building Medalist, and Kite Building Medalist. He also had a passion for fast motorcycles and cars. He owned a 1965 Triumph Bonneville Motorcycle 650cc, the fastest motorcycle in the world at the time; and a 389 HP Mopar Plymouth that he made famous at the Lions Drag Strip for becoming the fastest private drag racing car in Orange County at the time.

He went to Loara High in Anaheim where he began to excel athletically. He was an All-State football player and set the SoCal discus record of the time. Lehmer earned a football scholarship to USC and graduated in 1970 with an honors degree in psychology. He received an NCAA graduate scholarship in 1969.

An ankle injury cut short his athletic career, so he decided to pursue his childhood love of medicine, entering the USC School of Medicine, graduating in 1975. He completed an internship in general surgery at the UCI and was an emergency doctor and general practitioner for three and a half years. years.

He married his wife, Debra, in 1980, and together they continued his surgical medical career. Beginning by moving to Manhattan, NY in 1981 for a period of four years Orthopedic Residence at New York University/Bellevue HospitalMedical Center, where he became an assistant physician for the New York Yankees team in 1984 and 1985. He then moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1985 for a one-year fellowship at the Campbell Clinic, then to California in 1986 for open a private practice Orthopedic and Hand Surgery in Auburn.

After five years of a thriving practice, he closed his practice and moved his family to pursue his passion for spine surgery during 18 months of extensive training at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH and the London Clinic in London, England. He returned to Northern California to open the Sierra Spine Institute and performed the first spine surgery at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Throughout, he authored numerous publications and presentations.

Lehmer’s community involvement included serving on the council of elders at First Baptist Church in Auburn; BSA-Troop 783 Parents Committee and as Scoutmaster; member of the Forest Lake Christian School Board, in addition to providing physical exams and photographs for sporting events; and chaperoning Crossroads Church youth activities, including hosting a high school summer youth group.

Never expected to retire, he continued to assist with surgery, served as a forensic consultant, and was the orthopedic physician for the Sacramento County Jail’s weekly orthopedic clinic until illness incapacitated him in 2020.

Lehmer is survived by his wife of 42 years, Debra, children; Joshua Lehmer, Sarah Lehmer, and Jonathan (Jen) Lehmer; one granddaughter, Hannah Lehmer; sister, Rebecca (Murry) Darch; niece, Kristin (Rick) Christensen.

In lieu of flowers, please send your donations to “CEF NorCal Greater Sacramento Area –” or “The Gideons International –”

“A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE OF STEVEN” will be held Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Crossroads Church, 10050 Wolf Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949.

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