C. Richard “Dick” Lehnert Sr., co-founder of bus climate control company Trans/Air, died on Wednesday at age 87.
After serving in the Army for two years in the 1950s, Lehnert returned to his family’s business in Baltimore, E. Lehnert & Sons. That company, founded in 1850, assembled and sold vehicles adapted for plumbers, electricians, construction companies, landscapers, and government agencies.
According to Lehnert's obituary, while working for the family business, he discovered a passion for truck refrigeration and bus air conditioning. He took jobs in that field with Frigiking and Therm-Air before returning to E. Lehnert & Sons.
In 1979, Lehnert and his brother Ed launched Trans/Air Manufacturing Corp. They started supplying bus air-conditioning systems to the transportation industry, as well as truck refrigeration to the seafood delivery business.
Lehnert stayed active with Trans/Air until he retired in 2005. His son Rick Lehnert now serves as president and owner of the company.
Trans/Air, based in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, provides a variety of climate control systems for school buses and other vehicles.