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Mr. Lerch's career took him to Germany in the late 1950s, and he settled in the Washington area in 1963.
After retiring about 1980, he received training in physical therapy at Northern Virginia Community College and was a physical therapy assistant at Fairfax County nursing homes and hospitals for seven years.
Mr. Lerch, a Fairfax County resident, was born in Geneva, N.Y., and was raised on a farm. He was a biology graduate of St. Lawrence University and received a master's degree in psychology at Hobart College, both in New York state.
A son, Neil Stuart Lerch, died in 1995.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Carolyn Cooke Lerch of Fairfax; three children, David Jasper Lerch of Red Bluff, Calif., Robert M. Lerch of Chicago and Lora L. Riggins of Catlett; and three grandchildren.
-- Adam Bernstein